Vermont Votes for Kids: A project of the Vermont Secretary of State

Curriculum for Grades 9-12, Teacher materials for Lesson 13:
Gee, That's Different: Comparing Our Rights


Those who are born and raised in this nation often take for granted that suffrage is a right as well as an opportunity. It is also commonly taken as an assumed "right" that one cannot and should not be compelled to exercise the right to vote. We often do not realize that this privileged right is not perceived or protected the same in all nations.

Awareness is the first step in valuing. Learning what differences exist can cause students to appreciate the voting rights they have inherited. Appreciation is a big step toward choosing to utilize the power at their disposal. To achieve this awareness and appreciation, students can be asked to engage in their own exploration of different nations' voting traditions and attitudes. They should be invited to explore their own views of our own voting laws by contrasting them with those of other countries. This activity is designed to assist students in the exploration of alternative systems and of their own values about voting.


Copy Student Lesson 13 for each student. Position students into small groups. Ask each group to choose a recorder who will write down the group's answers and explanations to the following questions:

A.Which fact most surprised your group? Why?
B.Politically speaking, which situation runs most contrary to your beliefs? Explain.
C.Which situation in nations other than the United States seems most undemocratic to your group? Why?

Monarchies and dictatorships characteristically restrict the right to vote, for example:

And in the United States:

Vermont Secretary of State