Teachers across the United States are using news stories about the upcoming national election as a timely lesson in citizenship. But don't forget one other tool for teaching citizenship and critical thinking -- newspaper editorial cartoons! Bring the power of editorial cartoons -- the strength of their images and the power of their messages -- into your classroom.
Use editorial cartoons to teach about elections past and present
Kids and editorial cartoons are a natural connection. The cartoons can be a terrific tool for teaching higher level thinking skills. Students can discuss them and analyze them -- they can even create them. And what current event could be more rife with editorializing possibilities than the upcoming presidential elections?
In this Education World WebQuest, students research candidates and issues to answer the question, "Which candidate would you vote for?" During weekly classroom press conferences, students share what they learn and debate the issues.
Elections: Classroom activities
The primaries and the political conventions are behind us; the campaign and the vote lie ahead. These lessons, aimed at helping teachers capitalize on this once-every-four-years "teachable moment," include a unique approach to staging a classroom debate.
Election Day: Ten more classroom activities
Education World offers ten activities to help you teach about the election process, current issues, the importance of making informed decisions, and the importance of voting.. Included: Math, drama, art, role-playing activities, and more.
Make classroom connections to this year's elections
Education World provides five lessons to help you drive home the importance of voting, teach about the process of creating laws, track election results and voter turnout, and teach students what its like to make the tough decisions that elected officials make.
Inform your vote
Students vote for their favorite candidate for U.S. president. Then, they examine the candidates' positions on major issues, compare those positions to their own, and discuss whether their opinions changed because of what they learned about the candidates.
Ten election templates
Use these editable and printable templates as informational handouts. Then delete the data to create election worksheets and quizzes. Included are a presidential fact sheet, electoral map, campaign timeline, debate scoring rubric, and more.
Great sites for teaching about elections
Internet educator Walter McKenzie selected eight sites that are among the best on the Web for teaching about elections. Included are sites featuring online election memorabilia and an interactive survey.
Education World has selected Web sites that provide non-partisan, age-appropriate information about the presidential election, along with games, interactive tools, and a chance for students to participate by recording their votes.
More great sites for teaching about elections
Each week, Education World's Great Sites for Teaching About... page highlights Web sites to help educators work timely themes into their lessons. These sites are among the best on the Web for teaching about the election.
National student/parent mock election
Involve your students in the election process by enrolling them in the National Student/Parent Mock Election, designed to make students and parents aware of the power of the ballot by actively involving them in a national campaign and election.
Ten election books get our vote!
The presidential elections are just around the corner, so you might want to check out this list of ten books to help students learn about elections and the election process. Included: Books for students of all ages.
Elections, voting in words a kid can understand
The vocabulary and idiosyncrasies that surround the election process are difficult for adults to grasp. In America Votes: How Our President is Elected, author Linda Granfield explains the process in words any fifth grader can understand.