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America Votes: 1607-2012

For Schools and Families


The records of our government are preserved for the American people in the National Archives.  

For original documents and resources for teaching and learning, visit www. and

1.  Consider:

  • When and how did the first presidential election occur?
  • Who ran in the first presidential election? Who won?
  • Which states participated in it? For whom did they vote
  • How was it different from modern elections?

2.  Create visual representations (bar graphs) of the electors’ votes for various elections, and for 2012. Consider:

  • Which states had the largest and smallest populations?
  • What was the average number of electors per state?
  • Consider what might have changed the election’s outcome.

4.  Include historic documents as part of vocabulary study.

Use the terms “constitution,” “ratification,” “unanimously,”  “elector,” “union, “  “executive,” “naturalize,” “legislatures.”

5.  Create a chart showing the issues and positions of all candidates running for President

6.  Practice reading old script using historic documents.

7.  Read the U.S. Constitution, Article III, to study how we elect a President: