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ERIC Number: EJ902113
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Oct
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 3
ISSN: ISSN-1072-0839
Map the Race to the White House
Shore, Felice S.; Cooper, Linda L.
Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, v16 n3 p162-173 Oct 2010
The 2008 presidential election is a great backdrop for analyzing graphs, learning about population distributions, and studying the effect on the electoral voting process. To take advantage of the enthusiasm surrounding the election, the authors conducted two activities in the months leading up to the 2008 presidential elections with several groups of middle school and high school students from urban areas of Maryland. In this article, the authors discuss the two activities which focused on the electoral map and ideas of states' area versus population: (1) The first activity used histograms to summarize the distribution of electoral votes; (2) The second activity directly confronted the seeming contradiction that more of one color (more area) does not necessarily imply the winner. Students constructed a cartogram, or "pseudo-map", where area was proportional to population. The two activities present very different mathematical lenses for viewing the electoral map results. The point is for students to engage in different approaches when communicating mathematical ideas while learning about civics and the demographics of their state and country. It is hoped that teachers try one or both of these cross-curricular activities during this, another election year. An activity sheet and directions for creating a state cartogram are presented. (Contains 7 figures and 1 table.)
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. 1906 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1502. Tel: 800-235-7566; Tel: 703-620-3702; Fax: 703-476-2970; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Maryland