Lesson 1: Introduction to the world of U.S. elections

Lesson 1: Introduction to the world of U.S. elections
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Slide 1: Tekstslide
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In deze les zitten 33 slides, met interactieve quizzen, tekstslides en 3 videos.

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Lesson 1: Introduction to the world of U.S. elections

Slide 1 - Tekstslide

Welcome to this online course on the U.S. presidential elections. In this first lesson we will have a look at the most common used words in the election process.

The goal is that at the end of this lesson you will be able to recognise and use the most common political and election vocabulary in relation to the process of choosing a U.S. president.

Slide 2 - Tekstslide

Session 1
What do you already know?

Test your prior knowledge on the U.S. presidential elections. 

Slide 3 - Tekstslide

What do you already know?
If you watch the news, read newspaper or use social media you have probably heard all kind of things about the U.S. presidential elections. So let's test what you already know by playing a Kahoot. You can do this together with your classmates.

Slide 4 - Tekstslide

Session 2
The process explained

Electing a president is a complicated process in the U.S. It is not just a matter of who has the the most votes. The election is based on a system in which candidates need to win states. In this session you will have a look at this complicated proces.

Slide 6 - Tekstslide

Slide 7 - Tekstslide

In this session you are going to watch a video. This video explains the process of electing a U.S. president. The infographic below helps you understand the video. Study the infographic first.

In the infographic and video are some keywords which you need to know in order to fully grasp the system of electing a president. If you need some more help have a look at the glossary first and complete task 1 first and then continue to the video and tasks 2 and 3.
If you feel confident, you can continue to the video and complete tasks 2 and 3

Slide 8 - Tekstslide

Slide 9 - Tekstslide

Task 1: Warm up

Slide 10 - Tekstslide

An elector respresents a state.

Slide 11 - Quizvraag

Each state has the same amount of electors.

Slide 12 - Quizvraag

If you receive the most votes in a state, you win all the electors of that state.

Slide 13 - Quizvraag

The president and vice-president are elected at the same time.

Slide 14 - Quizvraag

If you win the most states, you win the elections.

Slide 15 - Quizvraag

If you receive the most votes (popular votes) throughout the entire country, you win the elections.

Slide 16 - Quizvraag

Slide 17 - Video

Task 2: Speak up

Slide 18 - Tekstslide

Task 3: Grasped it?

Slide 19 - Tekstslide

Drag the words into the correct boxes
1. People in the USA
                   to elect a new                           every four years.
2. The last U.S. presidential                     was held in 2016.
3. The U.S. presidential elections aren’t won by                           vote.
4. U.S. presidential elections are decided by the number of votes cast in individual                            .
5. On election day citizens go to a voting center and            their vote for the candidate of their choice.
6. The amount of influence a state has is measured by the size of its                          .
7. A person who stands for election is known as a                        .
8. A candidate needs more than half of the total number of                                     to win the presidency.


Slide 20 - Sleepvraag

Session 3
How to select a candidate

Slide 21 - Tekstslide

Both Rupblicans and Democrats need to select a candidate to run for president. But how does this selection process actually work? The terms 'primary'and caucus' play the main role in this process.

In this session you are going to read a text on how to select a candidate. Before you do that prepare yourself by looking at the reading strategies poster and watch the video on skimming and scanning.Then take the quiz and continue to task 1. 

Slide 22 - Tekstslide

Slide 23 - Video

Task 1: Prepare
First explore the text (don't read the whole text yet):

-skim the title

-skim the introduction

-skim the paragraphs

-skim the conclusion

-check the source

Slide 24 - Tekstslide

Selecting a presidential candidate
Two political parties are dominating U.S. politics, it means only two people have any real chance in the presidential election every four years: the Republicans and the Democrats. So while a lot of Americans express frustration with the system and say they'd like more options on election day, if a voter wants to help decide who those two candidates are, they've got to take part in the party primary system.


It used to be that presidential candidates were selected at party conventions. Conventions still happen, but they're mostly ceremonial since primary elections have picked every candidate for more than 50 years. Violence broke out at the Democratic convention in 1968, the last time a party picked a candidate who hadn't won any primaries.

Slide 25 - Tekstslide

A lot has changed since then, but U.S. politics hasn't got any less confusing. Before the general election, most candidates for president go through a series of state primary elections and caucuses. Though primaries and caucuses are run differently, they both serve the same purpose. They let the states choose the major political parties’ nominees for the general election. Every state conducts their own primary election or caucus to select a presidential candidate and none of them do it exactly the same way.

Caucuses are more like neighbourhood meetings than a traditional primary. People show up and actually lobby for their candidates. They are usually held at a district level. In most, participants divide themselves into groups according to the candidate they support. Undecided voters form their own group. Each group gives speeches supporting its candidate and tries to get others to join its group. At the end, the number of voters in each group determines how many delegates each candidate has won.

Some states have open primaries -- meaning anyone can take part in the primary, even if they aren't registered party members. Other states have closed primaries -- meaning you have to join the party in order to vote.

In each primary or caucus you can win a certain number of delegates. These are individuals who represent their state at national party conventions. The candidate who receives a majority of the party’s delegates wins the nomination. When the primaries and caucuses are over, most political parties hold a national convention. This is when the winning candidates receive their nomination.

Slide 26 - Tekstslide

You have read the text, if you feel you grasped the process complete tasks 3 and 4.


If you would like to have more clarification on the process of selecting a candidate use the infographic and/or watch the video below and complete task 2 first, before moving on to task 3 and 4.

Slide 27 - Tekstslide

Slide 28 - Video

Task 2: Choose them
Fill in the 6 words that are directly related to the process of selecting a presidential candidate. 

caucus - money - experience - conventions - primaries - electors - age - voting - district - TV - ads - parties -

Slide 29 - Tekstslide

Choose the right words and fill in.

Slide 30 - Open vraag

Task 3: Summary

Slide 31 - Tekstslide

Describe in your own words the difference between a caucus and a primary and their role in selecting a presidential candidate.

Slide 32 - Open vraag

Task 4: Missing

Slide 33 - Tekstslide