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Return to Election Day: Classroom activities

Return to Presidential election: Teachable moment

Election lesson: Take a stand

 

Subjects

  • Language Arts
  • Civics
  • Current Events

    Grade

  • 3-5
  • 6-8
  • 9-12

    Brief description

    Students take a unique approach to a classroom discussion/debate of the election process.

    Objectives

    Students share their opinions on an issue using a discussion/debate approach. They formulate a clear written statement of their opinions.

    Keywords

    debate, opinion, discussion, critical thinking

    Materials needed[shop materials]

  • four posters, each labeled in large letters with one of the following: Strongly Agree, Agree, Disagree, Strongly Disagree
  • a teacher-generated list of statements about the election process
  • writing paper and pencils

    Lesson plan

    Place a poster in each corner of the room. Then read a statement, and tell students to go to the corner that best describes how they feel about that statement. Here are some examples of statements:
  • All Americans should be required to vote.
  • People should be allowed to vote on the Internet.
  • Candidates should spend the same amount of money on campaigns.
  • The two-party system in the United States does not allow third parties to gain a foothold in the Electoral College system.
  • The power of special-interest groups in American politics is too great.

Encourage students to voice their opinions from their respective corners. Then have each group gathered in response to a statement work together to write a clear statement explaining their position.

Assessment

Evaluate students on their ability to state their opinions and on their position statements.

Lesson plan source

Education World (adapted from a lesson from PBS: The Democracy Project)

                                                                                                                                                         

                                                                                                                                                          Last updated 2/28/2016