Gerrymandering: Voting by Numbers

Gerrymander

Overview

In this lesson, students learn about the application of ratios and proportions to the real political issue of gerrymandering. In Part I, students conduct a primary-source analysis of the original 1812 political cartoon about Elbridge Gerry’s redistricting in Massachusetts to build background knowledge. In Part II, students analyze a historical map of Massachusetts’s gerrymandered voting districts in 1812 and compare it to the political cartoon to discuss issues of fairness. In Part III, students solve a hypothetical problem about fair representation on a student council, using their knowledge and understanding of gerrymandering and ratios. Finally, students role-play state legislators in a hypothetical state to solve problems of representation, including gerrymandering.

Related Resources

Grade

Middle School

Subjects

Civics, Math

Length

minutes.

Topics

Elbridge Gerry, equality, gerrymandering, problems, proportions, ratios, redistricting, representation, role play, solutions, voting, voting districts

Author

Citizen U