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About FANpolitics: Become a Fan of States & Congress
Politics is all about making decisions in groups. It is a science and an art. We could all become bigger fans of learning about how to utilize power to work together better.
Draft Congress members or U.S. states to learn more about local politics, federalism, elections, and law. Score and add points for positive actions! Click Let's Play
How does the scoring work for States?
Players automatically score points every 8 hours (starting at 3am central) if their states are MENTIONED in the New York Times. They also score points if STATES are TRENDING on Twitter: The Top 5 states on Twitter get 10 points, the next 5 states receive 9 points, and so on.
Since there are only 50 states to score, you'll probably want to create more, smaller leagues to enable players to draft more states per team. If you have 25 students in class, for instance, each student will only be able to draft 2 states, and there will be no free-agent states to pick up after the draft. It won't be as competitive and fun this way. Check out the Ideas for Use below for better best practices.
How does the scoring work for Congress?
Sponsoring a bill:
+4 points for sponsoring or introducing a bill
+4 points if the bill passes the current member's chamber
+4 points if the bill passes the opposite chamber
+4 points if the bill becomes law
-8 points if the bill gets vetoed
Cosponsoring a bill:
+2 point for cosponsoring a bill
+2 points if the cosponsored bill passes the current member's chamber
+2 points if the cosponsored bill passes the opposite chamber
+2 points if the bill becomes law
-4 points if the bill gets vetoed
+1 point for voting for a bill sponsored by the same party
+2 points for voting for a bill sponsored by the opposing party
-1 point for missing a role call vote
Students get linked to these "Resources," but the best go-to is Congress.gov where you can click "Yesterday in Congress" for a good calendar rundown of how many bills were introduced, reported, and passed in each chamber.
How might I incorporate manual point adjustments?
A few ideas from All-Star Teachers: Add points for a states + capitals quiz, state report projects, White House Briefs, scholarly article shares on social media, news research-thesis statements on state events, U.S. current events knowledge challenges, or U.S. geography assessments. (See the gif below for how to make manual point adjustments.) When you're ready to take your leagues to the next level, click through "More Ideas" above!
Ideas for Use
What are creative ways to draft states since there are only 50?
Create more, smaller leagues or pair students to encourage offline collaboration.
If there are 5 teams, for instance, each team can draft 10 states (but you'll probably want to draft less than 10 states each so that there are free-agent states to pick up after the draft).
Pick 5 team-leaders and just invite their emails (or have those 5 students use the League code).
Student-leaders can communicate with their teammate and manage the team's account for them.
Draft Civil War or Civil Rights states to analyze historical legacies in those places.
Discuss and write about current events happening in player's states.
Draft states from certain regions to encourage geographic awareness.
Debate U.S. domestic policy solutions in different communities.
Play low-score wins to analyze states that might not get as much attention.
Utilize foreign language news to differentiate instruction.
Interact with states to help students learn geography, study capitals, and examine regional economics.
Add points to teams for current event research, state projects, or class assignments.
Content sources we love that might be fantastic for your classroom too:
Draft Prep Tips
What is a Draft?
Just like pro sports teams draft new players every season, your students will draft states. Picture an interactive U.S. map on your computer + projector (or smartboard) that students come up to and click on a state to draft it for their team. Our Draft system "snakes" through the rounds so the student who has the 1st pick in the first round will have the last pick in the 2nd round. Once a state is drafted, it cannot be picked again.
One of the best things you can do for students is plan for a fun, successful, + competitive draft. It'll be one of the most fun learning days in your classroom!
Tip 1: Make sure students understand how to play
States that are currently getting mentioned in the news will score highest.
Games are won in the 2nd round and beyond.
"When the Top States have been drafted and are no longer available after the 1st Round, which states are good ones to pick?"
Tip 2: Plan your draft period accordingly
If students are prepared, your first round will move quickly!
Let them access smart phone/web/paper news resources and help them prepare for subsequent rounds as it's happening.
Manage your time wisely.
10 student-groups drafting 5 states each could take 100 minutes if they each spend 60 seconds to discuss + 60 seconds to draft.
Put students "on the clock" = give 30 seconds to draft in rounds 1-3 and 60 seconds for later rounds, for instance.
Create a sense of fun, competitive urgency by encouraging students to be prepared = use "teacher time".
Give students an activity to build upon their draft learning excitement.
Adapt the "White House Brief" assignment in our Shared Activities folder especially.
Get students writing and discussing why they picked the states they did or give themselves a Draft Grade like many fantasy sports programs!
Tip 3: Visit our shared google drive to modify and share classroom activities!