Friday, October 26, 2012

Making the Elections Relevant

As this year's Elections draw closer and closer do your students really know what is going on?

With all of the ads on TV, radio and the internet it may be difficult for your students to see the big picture as you explain the election process to them.

Although this can be discussed in all grade levels it is more prevalent right now for students that are in the eighth grade. How might you ask?

Students in the eighth grade are currently learning about the Revolutionary War and the events that happened immediately afterwards. Those events helped to lead us to our first Presidential election. Again you may be asking why is this an important event in the lives of these students. The answer is simple, during the next elections cycle they will be High School Seniors and may have the opportunity to vote. So it is important for them to understand the process and how they can make a difference if they choose to vote, remembering to tell them that it is their choice.

Here are some resources that can help make the difference in how your students perceive the Elections and how they can get involved and make it relevant to their lives.

  • Have your students create Political Cartoons using this Arts Edge Lesson that brings in a cross curricular component to the normal Social Studies curriculum.  As well Arts Edge has a great Lesson on the Election Process to help enhance your instruction on how the process works.
  •  You can use Read Write Think as a launch point to provide a number of resources on the Election Cycle and ways to get your students involved.  Some of these resources discuss using Avatars to create political cartoon skits.
  • You can use this Themed Resource page from Smithsonian's History Explorer to give your students some more background on the election process.  See how Mass Media plays a role in the election process with this resource from Smithsonian. 
  • Try all of these resources that Thinkfinity has gathered together for you regarding the election process.
  • Here are a lot of Election Lesson plans and activities from EDSITEment that go along with the Social Studies curriculum.
So even though I am talking to all you eighth grade teachers out there, anyone can utilize these resources to help make the elections relevant to your students by having them become involved through some of these activities.

This will help drive home the importance of the subject material and even help them to understand the current events that are going on in the world around them.

photo credit: The Suss-Man (Mike) via photopin cc

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