Who Votes In Elections? Lesson Plan for 8th Grade Students

Topic: Why don't people vote in elections? and how to change it?

Objectives & Outcomes

  • Students will be able to explain why people don't vote in elections and how to change it.


  • Handout with reasons people don't vote (e.g. lack of transportation, inconvenience, lack of knowledge)
  • Ideas for increasing voter turnout (e.g. mail-in ballots, early voting, voting days >1)


  • Ask students if they have ever voted in an election.
  • Ask them to share their experiences and things they liked/disliked about voting.
  • Ask students if they know why some people don't vote in elections.
  • Allow them to share their thoughts and any they have heard from their peers.

Direct Instruction

  • Review the concept of a democracy and the importance of voting in elections.
  • Discuss the various reasons people give for not voting, such as being too busy, not being interested in the election, or not being registered to vote.
  • Discuss ways to make voting easier and more accessible, such as extending the voting period, making it easier to register, and providing more convenient voting locations.

Guided Practice

  • Have students work in small groups to develop a campaign to increase voter turnout in their school or community.
  • Each group should come up with a slogan, some advertising ideas, and a plan for reaching out to non-voters and convincing them to vote.
  • Have each group present their campaign to the class.

Independent Practice

  • Ask students to choose a non-voter in their class and come up with a plan to convince that person to vote.
  • Have them present their plan to the class.


  • Review the importance of voting and the reasons why people don't vote.
  • Ask students to pledge to vote in the upcoming presidential election.


  • Observe students during the simulation activity and during the class discussion to assess their understanding of the importance of voting and the reasons why people don't vote.
  • Collect and grade the reports from the simulation activity as a form of assessment.

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