WebQuest Lesson - Mapping the 2000 Vote

Cranes    Hog Farming    Mapping the 2000 Vote    New Harmony Revisited    O.S.A.E. Skills    Water Debate

In partial fulfillment of

UNL Class CI 889

This document was last updated on 21 April 2001 (Ver. 1.4.1)

Mapping the 2000 Vote :
Using GIS in the High School Geography Classroom

A WebQuest Lesson for High School Geography Students.

This is a work in progress !

This WebQuest Lesson can easily be adapted for
social studies, economics, mathematics and government classes.

Introduction      Task      The Process and Resources      Conclusion      General Comments for the Teacher

Go to top

The Big Question
What can we learn about the 2000 Presidential Election and how can mapping the results help us to understand the political process?

Many of us older folks remember the day John F. Kennedy was killed, or when Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot. How long will we remember the weeks of uncertainty before we learned the outcome of the 2000 Presidental election? What can the close election results tell us about power of one's vote?

This WebQuest Lesson deals with some of the basic elements of the U.S. 2000 Presidential election, and how mapping the results can assist us in better understanding the election process.

The GIS (Geographic Information System) enables a computer to manipulate massive quantities of data and to display that data associated with a point or region on the Earth. It is beyond the scope of this WebQuest Lesson to instruct interested teachers, students and the general public of the possibities of GIS. Please refer to the links found in this WebQuest Lesson.

There is also the opportunity for schools with the computer technology and teachers who have the skills to teach a GIS Lesson which illustrates the Presidential Election of 2000. This GIS Lesson is made available as an outstanding model in which to get students involved with data collection, analysis and evaluation. Even schools and students without the technology and skills can become involved with 'Mapping the 2000 Vote'. See links on this WebQuest Lesson for ideas or contact the author for additional ideas on how to get your students involved.

For the Introductory activity, students are invited to discuss memorable elections of the past. What was the earliest Presidential election which you remember? What did you think about the election process at the time? Who were the major candidates? What were the top issues? Students should generate a chart which illustrates these points and be prepared to write a one page response to these questions. To ensure that we're all beginning at the same level of understanding on this topic, let's explore the following URLs together:

  • Presidential Election Laws Provisions of the Constitution and U.S. Code relating to Presidential Elections (National Archives and Records Administration)
  • What the state Constitution says about the Presidential election process (Nebraska's Blue Book)
  • FAQs on the Electoral College with links to procedural guide and others (Electoral College)
  • U.S. Voting and Registration (U.S. Census Bureau)
  • Projections of the Population of Voting Age, for States, by Race, Hispanic Origin, Sex, and Selected Ages (U.S. Census Bureau)

    Go to top

    In this WebQuest Lesson, High School geography students will...

  • study the background of the American voting process
  • research how women and minorities achieved the right to vote
  • comprehend some strategies to increase voter participation.
  • interact with desion-makers who determine how the voting process functions
  • evaluate the use of mapping to illustrate the 2000 Presidential election

    Go to top

    The Task
    In this Webquest Lesson, we'll learn about the history of voting in America and some of the ways in which technology (mapping software) can better help us understand the 2000 Presidential election process.

    The Process
    After visiting these sites listed above, be prepared to discuss ten major ideas. As with all web sites you visit for this assignment, take notes whenever appropriate. It is suggested that you keep a list of unfamiliar terminology, for you may wish to incorporate some of them in your final product. Write a one page summary weaving together major issues related to voting, and speculate on ways in which technology can enable more citizens to vote. Illustrate the process with examples. Check early with your teacher regarding the expectations for this WebQuest Lesson.

    Your teacher has selected appropriate sites on the internet for you to visit for this activity. You and your classmates will be divided into five research teams, based on Special Interest Groups (SIGs) and their Roles in this 'Mapping the 2000 Vote' Lesson. Note that there's always some overlap among SIGs and their place within this broad topic. Your teacher will tell you which sites to visit within your SIG.

    You and your team will be assigned one of the following Groups to research on this topic. Visit each of the URLs (Universal Resource Locator - web address) in your assigned Group. Be prepared to carefully cite each URL's author (when known), the documents' Title, organization name, date and important facts as presented. As you research the SIG assigned to you, As you visit each site, keep the Big Question in mind. Check with your teacher on which sites to visit within your group.

    Go to top


    Group 1 (The Voters : Who votes and Why - Some History)

  • The 2000 Population of Voting Age (Census Bureau)
  • Electoral College Home Page
  • States And Votes: 1992, 1996, and 2000 Allocation of Electoral Votes based on the 1990 Census (Electoral College)
  • Campaign 2000 the Recount (About.com - Geography / GIS)
  • "Votes for Women" Suffrage Pictures 1850 - 1920 (Library of Congress American Memory)
  • Suffrage Movement history (PBS)
  • Carrie Chapman Catt, "Do You Know?" 1915 Occasion: A pamphlet (Douglass Project)
  • Women win the right to vote & Women's Movement History (WorldBook)
  • Votes for Women Selections (LOC : National American Suffrage Association Collection)
  • Pioneer Women as voters (PBS)
  • Right to Vote -- Wyoming and Women (Humanities and Social Science Online)
  • 15 Women, 15 Centuries (Sunshine for Women)
  • One Woman, One Vote includes brief timeline of the movement (PBS)
  • "The Trial of Standing Bear" links (Educational Service Unit 3 - Nebraska)
  • Legal Ruling establishing Native Americans as Citizens Trial of Standing Bear (Yale Law School's Avalon Project)

    Group 2 (The Voting Process - What Where When)

  • Federal Election Commission
  • Florida Election Commission
  • Nebraska Election Commission
  • Lincoln - Lancaster Election Commission
  • How voting takes place
  • Are Electors Bound by State Law and Pledges? (Electoral College)
  • The House Selects a President Election of 1800 (National Archives and Records Administration)
  • Nebraska's 2000 Certificate of Ascertainment (Electoral College)
  • Rock the Vote (RTV)
  • Campus Green Vote Center for Environmental Citizenship (CEC)
  • The National Mail Voter Registration Form the document that allows you to register to vote from anywhere in the U.S. (Federal Election Commission)

    Group 3 (SIG - the Issues as Facts and Opinions)      Ask your teacher which sites you should visit

  • Project Vote Smart
  • Hold a New Election.com
  • 2000 Presidential Candidates, photos and links (Politics1.com)
  • Write-in Candidates for President in 2000 includes famous and nearly famous
  • Florida Supreme Court
  • U.S. Supreme Court      Florida Election Cases      Bush v. Gore (.pdf reader required)
  • Nebraska League of Women Voters
  • George W Bush would probably have won the disputed US presidential election (BBC)
  • Florida bets on technology to make it count (Guardian Unlimited)
  • John Fund's Political Diary Leave Well Enough Alone Democrats and Republicans should resist the urge to mess with the Electoral College. (Opinion Journal (Wall Street Journal))
  • Political Humor (About.com)      Nebraska Cartoonist

    Group 4 (Mapping the 2000 Presidential Vote)

  • Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections
  • Students follow the 2000 Elections a free GIS lesson plan (ESRI's ArcLessons / GeoCommunity)
  • Presidential Results by County for Election 2000
  • Cartographic variations on presidential election 2000 theme
  • U.S. Presidential Election Maps 1860 - 1996 (U-VA Library)
  • Gender Gap Election 2000 U.S. Senate Map & List (GenderGap - Women in Government, Politics and the Military
  • Campaign 2000 - A Cartographic Perspective Part 1 of 4 (About.com)

    Group 5 (Miscellaneous)      Ask your teacher which sites you should visit

  • 2000 U.S. Presidential Election Data (GeoCommunity)
  • Campaign 2000 the Recount (About.com)
  • Geographic Education and Public Policy by Geographer H. J. deBlij (About.com)
  • The White House (The White House)
  • CNN Election 2000
  • U.S. Electoral College: List Of States And Votes: 2004 Allocation of Electoral Votes based on the 2000 Census (National Archives and Records Administration)
  • 'A game for anyone who can add to 270' One of many games related to the 2000 Presidential Election
  • How voters in other countries cast their ballots
  • Things to buy related to the 2000 Presidential Election
  • Welcome to Election2000.com Currently this domain name is for sale
  • This website is for sale.
  • The auction for voters.org has begun !

    While reading the content at these web sites, take appropriate notes on paper and in computer text files. If you wish, subdivide your team to divide up the tasks. Several of you might research the sites while others can type the notes and prepare them for the next step. Be sure to check with your instructor for details. 'Mapping the 2000 Vote' can be a daunting task, which is why you and your team have been asked to reseach only one SIG. The larger task of understanding this important topic has been chunked into smaller, manageable sizes.

    At this point, the issue which you and your team must address is
    What does this SIG contribute to our understanding of the Lesson? Your search so far should help answer the Big Question.

    Print only the graphics (illustrations, maps and charts) which best describe the main idea. You are reminded of the Copyright Issues we've discussed. If you use information (facts, quotations and graphics) created by others, you must cite (give the author's name, Document's title, organization name, URL, and date) in your final product. Again, you must obtain written permission to publish someone else's work. Your instructor can assist you in drafting a letter requesting permission.

    Each member of your team must now contribute what you have learned while visiting the SIG you were assigned. Share your knowledge with your teammates. Often the topic is so complex, you'll need to examine the details in order to reach a consensus among your group. To promote transformation (demonstate what you've learned), you must construct new meaning and synthesize what you've learned. You and your team must create a product (such as HyperStudio Stack, a tri-fold brochure using desktop publishing software, a poster, a short videotape or QuickTime file, a PowerPoint presentation, a play, or an online document) to demonstrate what you and your teammates have learned from this activity so far. You must obtain permission from your teacher before you actually begin work on your product. At the end of this activity, all of the SIGs will present their Group findings in a panel discussion for the entire class.

    Go back to the Big Question and look for examples in which the websites (URLs) you visited actually address the Big Question. What arguments are presented? Are the arguments based on fact or opinion? How do you know? After your product selection has been approved by your teacher, go ahead and work on it. Refer to notes on paper and on floppy disk. Try to verify the facts as you best understand them. When your product has been completed, you must have it approved by your teacher before you complete the final step.

    From the websites you've visited and the Real World Feedback lists shown below, select three individuals who are willing to receive your final product and to evaluate it for you. Confirm your potential list of recipients with your teacher before you contact these individuals. Your final team product will then be sent by email or postal service to the individuals for their comments. You must make a serious attempt to contact three people and request they respond by email or in writing in a timely manner. Your teacher can help you create a letter of request to send.

    Go to top

    Sources for Real World Feedback

    Your group's conclusion can be sent to the following places (after your product has been approved by the instructor) for comment and evaluations (See also March's list for more choices).

    Directory of Email list servers

    Web 66 International WWW Schools Registry

    Teacher contact database

    Pitsco's Launch to Asking an Expert


    Now that we've completed our WebQuest Lesson, let's answer this important question : Has this activity addressed the Big Question? What have been the most significant points you've learned during this activity? After your internet research, analysis, product design and creation, do you have a deeper understanding of a real, gray area, challenging topic? Consider what you've learned from this experience and how you can apply that knowledge and those skills in new ways. Write a one page summary of this WebQuest activity and what's it's meant to you. Give specific examples from your research, analysis, product design and processes you used to reach your conclusions.

    Your teacher may have given you a feedback sheet or several URLs to visit before you complete your group's product and your evaluation of this activity. Submit a copy of the answers to the questions listed above, plus your electronic notes, and final product to the teacher and keep a copy for yourself.

    Terms used in this lesson : gerrymandering, Mapping/redistricting

    Go to top

    Back to Greg's Home Page   Back to Previous or Current Class Work   Back to WebQuest Lessons

    (WQmapMM.html)gen 21 April 2001