Many teachers want to stay the heck away from all of that potentially explosive commentary, especially when most kids (especially in elementary schools) tend to have the same political opinions as their parents, sentiments they glean from home.
At our school, we are approaching the election as neutrally as possible, with each grade level taking a governmental (versus political) approach, and we are definitely steering clear of analysis of who is actually running!
Our basic approach looks like this, bringing in activities and research on each theme:
- PreK-Kindergarten: Introduction to voting
- 1st Grade: The voting process and campaigning through naming class mascots and book characters
- 2nd Grade: Letters to future leaders about the issues that are important to the students
- 3rd Grade: Voting is a civic responsibility, voter turn out, and the characteristics of a good citizen
- 4th Grade: The Electoral College and the math associated with it
- 5th Grade: Voting around the world and women's suffrage in the USA
Here are just a few resources that may be vital in these last few weeks to help round out the final countdown and give you a little inspiration this political season.
- Election Decoder to see the Math of the Electoral College
- TED-ED's "The Fight For the Right to Vote"
- Education World's Election book list by age level
- Read Write Think's "Today Is Election Day" lesson plan on the history and importance of voting
- iCivics "Who Represents Me" Online Game
- FairVote for past statistics and information about what impacts voter turn out. (Great to use for making spreadsheet line graphs and analyzing data)
- iCivics Voting Rights lesson plan
- National American Women's Suffrage Association from the Library of Congress for a timeline of women's history on getting the right to vote
- Printable Presidential Election Maps from 1789--2012
- Mr. Donn's Free Powerpoint presentations on Elections for Kids
Images from http://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2016-election-forecast/, http://www.hcpl.net/category/tags/election,