This 66 page thematic unit is designed to make the election process real and relevant to elementary aged children. The unit is designed to last 4 to 6 weeks. Detailed lesson plans are included. The file includes 16 pages of detailed daily lesson plans and ideas, 40 pages of reproducible student activity sheets, an extensive references/resource list, and answer keys.
Students will learn about the process of electing a president by experiencing this process themselves through the election of a class mascot (a stuffed animal they can make at Build-a-Bear or order through the Build-a-Bear website). Government and election concepts and vocabulary will be taught, and students will learn about the presidential election process. This process will be compared to the process students will go through as they take part in their own election for Class Mascot.
1) The process for nominating presidential candidates
2) Qualifications and requirements for becoming President of the United States
3) Duties of the President of the United States
4) Qualifications for voting in U.S. presidential elections
5) Campaigning for President, including an overview of the major presidential candidates and their stances on important issues
6) Elections vocabulary and terminology
During the Class Mascot election process, students will:
- Develop requirements and qualifications for becoming Class Mascot
- Develop duties for the Class Mascot
- Research and nominate candidates for Class Mascot
- Compare Class Mascot candidates in various ways
- Create voter's guides for the candidates
- Determine requirements for voting in class elections and register to vote
- Vote for Class Mascot on Election Day
- Take a field trip to Build-a-Bear to create their class mascot (or order the winning mascot from the Build-a-Bear website)
The purpose of this unit is to allow young students to participate in the election process in a manner that is engaging, makes sense to them, and is relevant to their everyday lives. By introducing students to the candidates, issues, and processes involved in electing a president, students are learning the skills necessary to be a good citizen later in life. At the same time, by asking them to think critically about nonpolitical issues that are relevant to them (specifically choosing a Class Mascot), students gain firsthand knowledge of the election process. They also develop key critical thinking and evaluative skills - concepts that are vital to their successes as 21st century learners.
For lesson plans and reproducible activities that deal only with presidential elections without the class mascot component, see my Presidential Elections for Intermediate Grades
. by Rebecca Bettis
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