Election time is the perfect time to put critical thinking skills to work. What a great way to demonstrate how to organize your thinking around a complex issue. There are lots of resources out there to help you get students thinking and writing around Election Day.
Why not start with helping kids identify the key issues? This first step in the SCAN critical thinking strategy is a great way to start chunking the huge amount of information surrounding our elections. Check out this election day lesson plan “What are the Important Issues?” from Educationworld.com. The lesson help students identify the issues and vote on which ones they think are most important.
Follow up that lesson with the free “Election Issues” lesson at www.tregoed.org. This lesson has students representing special interest groups (tax reform, healthcare, environment, and jobs) in a discussion about what the most important issues are in the upcoming elections. Just register and set up the free lesson from your dashboard.
Why Vote? This page from http://www.pbs.org/elections/kids/educators.html has all sorts of lessons to teach about why voting is important, political cartoons, political parties, etc.
Looking for some writing ideas? How about this unit built around elections using readwritethink.org?
How about a lesson on how technology has affected our elections for the campaign to the voting booth? This lesson explores the effect of technology on political campaigns. “Covering the Campaign Trail: Technological Progress or Temporary Chaos?"
Technology will also affect our experience at the voting booth. In the not-to-distant future, our students may soon be voting from their phones. Students can read this article from Science Daily and write a response including benefits and drawbacks of mobile voting. Have them practice using short constructed responses to SCAN questions (What are the issues? Clarify the issues. Assess what is most important. Name next steps-what should be done?).
Our students are inundated with political debates,issues, and advertisements; get them in on the action!