Democracy and Current Events | Facing History & Ourselves
Young women voting at the polls.

Democracy and Current Events

This toolkit provides lessons and strategies for helping your students make sense of issues in the news related to democracy.


At a Glance

toolkit copy


English — US


  • Civics & Citizenship
  • Social Studies


  • Democracy & Civic Engagement


About This Toolkit

We live in a time of great tension and conflict in democracies around the world. Elections in recent years—both inside and outside of the United States—have revealed and exacerbated deep divisions within many democratic societies, raising fundamental questions about the strength and fragility of democratic institutions. The resources in this toolkit can help your students learn about the concept of democracy, the forces that strengthen or weaken it, and make connections to issues of democracy in the present.

This toolkit is designed to be flexible. You can use all of the resources or choose a selection best suited to your classroom. It includes mini-lessons, explainers, and strategies for engaging students on the following topics:

  • Understanding Democracy 
  • Democracy in the News 
  • Media Literacy

Preparing to Teach

A Note to Teachers

Before teaching with the resources in this toolkit, please review the following information to help guide your preparation process.

Students' identities and life experiences shape the way they understand government, form political opinions, and participate in discussions related to elections and democratic institutions. The following resources can help you guide meaningful discussions on potentially divisive topics:

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Inside This Toolkit

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Facing History & Ourselves is designed for educators who want to help students explore identity, think critically, grow emotionally, act ethically, and participate in civic life. It’s hard work, so we’ve developed some go-to professional learning opportunities to help you along the way.

Using the strategies from Facing History is almost like an awakening.
— Claudia Bautista, Santa Monica, Calif