uesday, November 2nd is a very important day in America. It is the day where we are holding mid-term elections for 37 of the 100 senate seats. State votes will also take place on topics ranging from education to state spending. Elections will also be held that day for many governor positions along with other state and local government positions. Teaching students about the importance and history of voting is vital to the basis of why the United States was formed and continues to be a free nation. The Elections that will be held on this day will shape the next few years of American politics and government.
Here are some great online resources for lessons and projects for teaching about voting and elections for students in grades K-12.
A to Z Teacher Stuff Election Resources
On A to Z Teacher Stuff, they have an annotated list of election resources. This site has activities and lessons for all grade levels. For older students, they have activities like critiquing campaign ads, mapping election results, news scavenger hunts, debate activities, and voting games. This site has only a few activities for younger students that are adaptions of the lessons for the older students. The elections mapping and the scavenger hunts would be great for students of all ages and levels.
Teach-nology Election Lesson Plans
On Teach-nology, they have a site dedicated to civics, voting, and elections lesson plans. This site has some lessons that you may only download a few pages or parts of a lesson for free, but the remainder of the materials must be downloaded by purchasing a year-long membership to the site. However, there are also lesson links that direct you to other great, free teaching resources. One great hands-on lesson on this site is called Every Vote Counts. This lesson gets the students involved in the process of voting by holding a mock school election. The students are involved in the whole process from creating the ballot, campaigning, voting, and counting the votes. A great lesson for older students would be to review political cartoons and their meaning and impact upon the election.
Teachable Moments Lesson Plans on Social Responsibility
Teachable Moments has grade-level separated activities based on the topic of social responsibility. The topics range from teaching about important, but sensitive issues like cyberbullying, homophobia, war, climate change, controversial laws, and dealing with a crisis through positive and impactful lesson plans and activities. The activities are created as ‘teachable moments’ in society arise that make the topic an important newsworthy and education worthy topic of discussion.
This site also has lessons about elections, voting, politics, and the United States Government. One high school lesson involves the topic of the ‘broken senate’ and filibustering. There are reading passages that the class reads together and then discussion questions to further the depth of the conversation. Another middle school lesson encourages the students to look at the qualities that political figures and the president should possess. It also includes information on how adults may make decision on who they vote for and how they learn about the issues and candidates before voting day. This is a great website that helps to teach difficult subjects in an appropriate educational manner and setting.
Election Day Kaboose Activities
Kaboose has great craft and activities ideas to teach younger students about Election Day. They have craft ideas to create election boxes, voting booths, and election pins/stickers. These crafts can then be tied into mock-elections like voting on the snack for next week or who gets to be the line leader for the day.
Article By Laura Ketcham
Picture By joebeone