The Story of the 13th Amendment
This one minute animated video is an overview of this amendment with some interesting facts. There isn't any audio.
The Bill of Rights as First Constitutional Amendments
This video is accompanied by text. "Several of the states were hesitant to ratify the Constitution. New York in particular feared that ratification of the Constitution as it was written would transfer many civil liberties away from the people to a large, authoritarian government. Promises made by the Federalists that a Bill of Rights would be the first priority of the new Congress paved the way for ratification. The new Congress, guided by James Madison, was determined to follow through on that
The Purpose and Intent of the Founders
This video is accompanied by text. "The Bill of Rights guarantees basic human and political rights to Americans. As an addendum to the United States Constitution, the document has evolved in scope through judicial interpretation.
Many states had a Bill of Rights in their own constitution and insisted that the protections be added to the federal document. Two states, North Carolina and Rhode Island, refused to ratify the Constitution until a Bill of Rights was included. Five other states,
The Bill of Rights
This is an excellent video that goes through each of the amendments in rapid fashion. This would be an excellent introduction to the Bill of Rights, but lacks the depth needed for most civics classes.
Our Constitution: The Bill of Rights
A fast paced video that reviews how the Bill of Rights came to be. Not much depth, but hits on some basic rights in the First Amendment.
The Ninth Amendment
This is slow-starting video that gives a lot of opinion before getting into the 9th Amendment's meaning - this happens around the three-minute mark. This could also be used as a study in propaganda. (05:18)
History and Meaning of the Bill of Rights
The history and interpretations of the Bill of Rights are illustrated with interviews and video clips. Activities are suggested for the use of this program in classrooms. Slow start, but this is a good video to introduce these Rights. The video uses images that might help students understand the time period better. Video is 12 minutes in duration.
In perspective: Dred Scott and the Fourteenth Amendment
This 2:21 video links the Dred Scott decision with the current (2010) Republicans move to change the 14th Amendment to allow birthright for citizenship to those born in the United States. It explains why the 14th amendment was written and would be an excellent video to show for purposes of debate and to show that history isn't always about the past.
Intensity and Voting
Voter intensity gauges the likelihood that people will vote and otherwise participate in elections. It is measured by how strongly people feel about their role as the electorate, whether they feel a personal stake in the policy agenda, and their degree of political socialization. (Video is narrated with slides and speeches.)
School House Rock: How Bill Becomes a Law
The usual good job done by School House Rock. Students should have a handout about how a bill becomes a law as the song just touches on the method a bill goes through to become a law. Run time 03:01
US Hispanic Population Soars According to Census
This 2:20 video deals with the many changes that the expansion of the Hispanic population has made in community and in elections. Some negative comments are made by sources, but the video does open the opportunity for students to have a debate on this subject as well as explore how the Electoral College works in presidential elections.
Schoolhouse Rock - The Electoral College
This engaging cartoon explains how the electoral college works in very simple terms and is appropriate for elementary and older students. (3:15)
Cost of Elections
Whether a candidate is campaigning for the presidency, the Senate, or for the House of Representatives, running for public office can be costly. It is rare for an individual to run a successful campaign by merely collecting signatures and placing his or her name on a ballot. Candidates who want to inform voters about their platforms must spend money on a campaign. (Video is narrated with slides and speeches.)
House and Senate Elections
The United States Congress is made up of 535 members, 435 Representatives, and 100 senators. The number of House members is not fixed by the Constitution, which states in Article I, Section II, Clause III, “Representatives…shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers…” The Constitution does fix the size of the Senate in Article I, Section III, Clause I, “The Senate of the United States shall be composed of
The Electoral College
The Framers of the Constitution worked diligently to establish an effective system for electing a president and vice president. The members of the Constitutional Convention were reluctant to allow a popular vote because information dissemination, in their time, was very limited. They rejected direct election of the president by Congress because it would give too much power to the federal government. Likewise, they felt that presidential elections held by the various state assemblies would result
Primaries, Caucuses, and Conventions
Political parties determine their presidential candidates through primaries, caucuses, and conventions. Until the early part of the twentieth century, every state used caucuses to choose a candidate. Caucuses began to lose favor because many of the “political machines” that controlled the caucuses were corrupt and did not necessarily carry out the will of the people. Still, caucuses continue to be used in 12 states. (Video is narrated with slides and speeches.)
General elections are the final stage in the presidential election process. General elections are held on the Tuesday following the first Monday in November. By the time of the general election, presidential candidates have campaigned for approximately one year and have raised huge sums of money. (Video is narrated with slides and speeches.)
U.S. Electoral System Explained
This video offers a brief description of how the voting process works in the US. The commentator in this video is talking very fast. Suitable for high school students and older. (01:26)
The Electoral College
This original video from Disney Educational Productions tackles one of the most interesting elements of U.S. presidential elections - the Electoral College. Follow students Sarah and Joe as they learn about the history of the Electoral College, how it works today, and how it affected the outcome of the dramatic Bush vs. Gore 2000 election. The pros and cons of the Electoral College system are also covered. This video is suitable for middle school students and high school students. (07:47)
Electing A President In Plain English
This video explains how the president is elected using the simplest terms, appropriate for all ages. The video has a dynamic narrator along simple illustrations. Run time 03:42