Polling and Public Opinion

Most people are eager to offer their opinions about topics of interest, but what's the most effective way to collect and assess these opinions as a matter of fact? High schoolers learn about the history of polling, as well as the pitfalls of biased and illegitimate polls, with a thorough lesson plan. After watching a series of video clips about different aspects of polling, they choose a topic for their own polls and work on collecting responses from peers.

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CCSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas
  • Have class members complete the first step of the assignment as homework the day before the lesson
  • Use in a sociology class or during a focus on elections in social studies
  • Brainstorm a list of additional topics for learners to choose from when conducting their own polls
  • Connect the lesson to a math class when compiling and and analyzing poll results
Classroom Considerations
  • Based on the topics in the polls, be sure to foster an environment of maturity and cooperation to avoid unnecessary conflict based on personal opinion
  • Lesson requires four days to complete; consider condensing or extending the steps to fit with your schedule and curriculum
  • Provides polling worksheet in both PDF and Google document formats, allowing for editing and sharing
  • Covers several interesting and topical areas of focus for polls, including the use of phones and the Internet
  • Includes links to all necessary video clips
  • None