Where, Why, and by Whom are Lines Drawn?

Lesson Plan Content
Is it gerrymandering? Is it redistricting? Paying attention to where lines are drawn, by whom, and under what circumstances affects how people are governed. Everyone in a community should be equipped to ask questions of the cartographers drawing district maps and of the people instructing the cartographers. The GeoCivics website offers state-specific resources to learn about the importance of the census data, the process of electoral redistricting, and the positive and negative repercussions when drawing district lines. A set of lessons, entitled "On the Move," offers low tech and high tech exercises in geospatial thinking that build a strong basis for civics education. Some of the topics related to apportionment and redistricting include: international and historical approaches, gerrymandering, voter participation, and related litigation. Explore materials for all 50 states at “State Resources”
GeoCivics Project
Grade Range: 
1 class period
Lesson Materials
National Geography Standards: 
1: How to use maps and other geographic representations, tools, and technologies to acquire, process, and report information
3: How to analyze the spatial organization of people places, and environments on Earth's surface
4: The physical and human characteristics of places
9: The characteristics, distribution and migration of human populations
12: The processes, patterns, and functions of human settlement
17: How to apply geography to interpret the past
18: How to apply geography to interpret the present and plan for the future