Elections & Civics

Getting Kids Engaged about the 2020 Elections

Elections provide great opportunities to talk about democracy, how our government works, current events and issues, historical context, and how we can improve the processes for future generations. This is a resource list for families to learn more about the events and processes leading up to Election Day and beyond. 

Online resources:

We the People – Scholastic
A civics and media literacy resource for grades 4-10 that explains how government works and how you can get involved.

Election 2020 – Scholastic
Guide to the 2020 Election, including candidates and issues, and key civics knowledge building materials. 

Elections… The American Way – Library of Congress
Provides information for grades 5-12 about the election process, right to vote, and past presidential campaigns.

Election Central – PBS LearningMedia
Election news, history and process of presidential elections, and voting rights, with videos and interactive activities.

Voting and Elections – U.S. Government
Find answers to common questions about voting in the United States. Learn about common terms, the presidential election process, how to make informed choices, and voting and election laws and history.

17 Tips to Steer Kids of All Ages Through the Political Season – Common Sense Media
Help your kids tune out the noise and tune in to age-appropriate resources for political news.

Below are some books to introduce young children to voting as well as more advanced levels for older children explaining the complexities of the electoral process and American democracy. For a more complete list, please click for the printable or online reading lists.

Elections and Civics 1

Vote for Me! by Baltscheit, Martin

The lion loves elections – he wins every time. But when the mouse decides to run for president, other animals offer up their own candidates. With so many options, how can the animals ever decide? 

If I Had Your Vote by Cat in the Hat

This hilarious new Beginner Book featuring Dr. Seuss's Cat in the Hat – and the changes he'd make if elected president of the United States – is perfect for introducing young readers to the White House!

Monster Needs Your Vote by Czajak, Paul

Election season is here and Monster is ready to vote! But why cast your ballot when you can run for president instead? With speeches, debates, and a soapbox or two, Monster's newest tale is a campaign encouraging kids to take a stand and fight for what they believe in.

Bad Kitty for President by Bruel, Nick

It's time to elect a new president of the Neighborhood Cat Coalition! Who will win the election? Readers will come away with some knowledge of the U.S. election process to boot.

Froggy for President! by London, Jonathan

Both Froggy and Frogilina are running for class president, and both have compelling platforms--but which candidate will voters choose?

Vote for Our Future! by McNamara, Margaret

The students of Stanton Elementary School, which is a polling place, find out all they can about voting and then encourage everyone in their neighborhoods to cast their ballots. Includes additional facts and historical details.

The President of the Jungle by Rodrigues, Andre

Unhappy with Lion, the king of the jungle, the animals hold an election to choose a new leader.

Book Uncle and Me by Krishnaswami, Uma

An energetic, funny and quirky story that explores the themes of community activism, friendship, and the love of books.

Elections and Civics 2

We the People by Lewis, Aura

Takes a closer look at the Constitution, the bedrock of U.S. politics. Inquisitive minds will have their questions answered – and new ones raised – by a mix of striking illustrations and clear, engaging text, including passages from the Constitution given in plain English.

I Voted: Making a Choice Makes a Difference by Shulman, Mark

Explains the concept of choosing, individually, and as a group, from making a simple choice – "Which do you like better, apples or oranges?", to selecting a class pet, to even more complicated decisions, like electing community representatives.

The Kids’ Complete Guide to Elections by Berne, Emma Carlson

Election Day is coming up and with it comes a lot of questions about the U.S. electoral process. From campaigns and politcal parties to voting, kids can find out all about our elections.

Thank You for Voting by Smith, Erin Geiger

This young readers' edition of Thank You for Voting presents a fascinating look into America's voting history and inspires young people to get involved.

Free for You and Me: What Our First Amendment Means by Mihaly, Christy

The five liberties protected by the First Amendment are explained here in catchy, engaging rhymes. Vivid, kid-friendly examples demonstrate the meaning of freedom of religion, speech, and the press, and the rights to assemble peacefully and to petition the government.

The Presidency: Why It Matters to You by Kellaher, Karen

Take an up-close look at the challenges of this job, how the president interacts with other parts of the government, and what a president's actions mean for you.

What’s the Big Deal About Elections by Shamir, Ruby

In this kid-friendly, fact-filled book, young readers will find out how Americans choose their leaders, local and federal, and why elections should matter to them, even if they can't vote (yet)!

When You Grow Up to Vote: How Our Government Works for You by Roosevelt, Eleanor

Eleanor Roosevelt’s book on citizenship for young people is now revised and updated for a contemporary audience. With art from award-winning artist Grace Lin.

How the President is Elected by Rubinstein, Justine

Explores the ways that presidential elections have developed over time, including the formation of the Electoral College, the extension of the right to vote to all citizens regardless of race or gender, and the shifting alliances of political parties, primaries, and conventions. 

Votes of Confidence: A Young Person’s Guide to American Elections by Fleischer, Jeff

Explains the past, present, and future of American elections; how the election process actually works and why it matters; and how young people can become involved – not just this year, but for years to come.