Lesson Plan

Representing the People: Diversity and Elections

Related Content

GRADE LEVEL: Middle School, High School

COMMON CORE STANDARDS: Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening, Language

2018 Midterms and 2020 Presidential Election: How These Elections Broke Records

As our nation becomes more diverse in a variety of ways, our national politics is starting to catch up to those demographics. The 2018 midterm elections broke records and barriers in terms of race, religion, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation and other aspects of identity. The incoming House of Representatives (116th Congress) is the most diverse class in history.

Along the same lines, the slate of 2020 Presidential hopefuls in the Democratic party included more diversity than we have seen previously, including women, people of color and gay candidates. In the 2020 election, Kamala Harris was elected the first woman, first Black woman and first South Asian woman as Vice President of the U.S.

Diversity of Elected Officials

The 116th Congress is the most diverse class in history. A few examples include: (1) for the first time, two Native American women were elected to Congress, (2) several states have their first women Senators and black female members of Congress, (3) for the first time, two Muslim women were elected to Congress, (4) the first bisexual woman was elected Senator, (5) overall, the percentage of women in Congress is the highest in U.S. history, and (6) in the current Congress, at least 13% of lawmakers are immigrants or children of immigrants.

As of April 2019, in the nation’s 100 largest cities, ten women of color current serve as Mayors. Seven are African-American, two are Asian Pacific-Islander and one is Latina.”

About this Lesson Plan

This lesson provides an opportunity for students to learn more about the current landscape of elected officials and Presidential hopefuls, explore what this means in terms of diversity and representation and research one elected official in depth.

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will learn about the 2018 midterm election that broke records and barriers regarding diversity.
  • Students will reflect on their own points of view regarding diversity and political representation.
  • Students will gain in depth knowledge about one elected official by engaging in a research project.