Engaging Reading Activities: Classroom Elections

Posted by Teresa Marchant on Oct 19, 2016 12:04:00 PM

Screen_Shot_2016-10-09_at_9.56.45_PM.pngHave you considered holding your own 2016 Election in your classroom, but don't know where to start? You will be pleased how the upcoming elections can motivate learning in your classroom. 

First, find resources on Big Universe to help provide background knowledge on the United States Government and the Election process. Then, have them discover past presidents. As a final activity, hold your own classroom elections!

I would include the following resources:

 
From the publisher, "Election Day is an important day when citizens choose a leader. But not every country has elections. Young readers will learn about democracy and its history, how a polling station works, and how votes are counted on election day."
 
From the publisher, "This book provides essential information on all aspects of the election process. How is a government elected? is packed with plenty of full-color images to help deliver a fundamental message: that the right to vote is one of the cornerstones of a free and democratic society."
This lesson plan can be found on Big Universe under the writing module. It prepares your students to write an opinion paper based on their research.  

Lesson: The Best President Was/Is... - Opinion Writing

Activities

  1. Discuss facts vs. opinions. What are the differences between the two?
  2. As a culminating activity to a unit on the Presidents, discuss several and their significance in history. For example: Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Franklin D. Roosevelt, etc.
  3. Ask students to share facts with team members/table members to review presidents they've studied.
  4. Ask students to choose the best President in history and explain why he is their choice.
  5. Using the attached graphic organizer, have students research their chosen president from the list of books, and fill out the sheet.
  6. Using their graphic organizer, ask students to develop a writing plan:
    1. Key facts for content
    2. Organizational structure for their reports
    3. Transitions
  7. Once students have determined how they will approach this writing assignment, students should begin the drafting process.
  8. Utilize the peer editing process to identify issues with grammar, and syntax.
  9. Complete the final draft on the Big Universe website.
  10. Consider extending the project to creating dioramas, posters, etc. to share with their classmates and defend their opinions.

Common Core Writing Standards

W.4.1

Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.

W.4.4

Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

W.4.6

With some guidance and support from adults, use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of one page in a single sitting.

W.4.7

Conduct short research projects that build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.

W.4.8

Recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print and digital sources; take notes and categorize information, and provide a list of sources.

W.4.9

Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

Note: This lesson plan includes supplemental materials

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Required Reading

Screen_Shot_2016-10-09_at_9.48.18_PM.pngScreen_Shot_2016-10-09_at_9.48.33_PM.png

Next, have students research current candidates on various websites. Another option would to have students run for class president. Then assign groups to design campaign posters, voter registration cards, a ballot box, and an actual ballot.

Your students will all be winners, with these lesson plans! We love to hear what you are doing in your classroom to get ready for the Elections.

Topics: Classroom Ideas, Common Core, Reading Lists, Writing, Technology

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