Teacher's Institute 2008 Lesson Plans
Every Vote Counts! The Presidential Election of 2008 - Word Document
Rationale: Recent research has shown that participation in the election process in the United States has steadily dropped over the past 2 decades, precipitously so in the last 10 years. Many of our citizens are either apathetic as to their responsibilities as voters or have become so disillusioned with our political system and government that they simply have given up on the idea of their vote making a difference in how our country’s government is run. Many students have little knowledge about how our voting process works, especially on the Federal level.
As a young child I can remember being taken with my parents to the local elementary school so they could cast their vote on a range of issues, from electing the President of the United States to voting on local tax and bond elections. We would be left outside to play while they went in and completed this privilege.
It is imperative that we instill in our students at an early age a sense of responsibility and an deeper understanding about the importance of making their voice heard by voting.
This lesson plan is designed to coincide with the 2008 U.S. Presidential election and will show students in grades 3 and up the process of voting. However, it can be used on a local or state level as well. It will guide them through the act of being registered to vote, researching and learning about issues, evaluating candidates and actually voting for their choice. Through guest speakers, in-class activities, and school-wide activities they will have a much better grasp of the importance of this great privilege they have as U.S. citizens.
Students will learn about the voting process from start to finish, even having their own voter registration office, poll commissioners, a clerk of court, students who will represent the major Presidential candidates and, if possible, actual voting machines from the local Registrar of Voters office.
Louisiana Politicans - Word Document
Rationale: Students will have the opportunity to voice their opinion on whether or not they believe that all men are created equal after thorough research given through a webquest and virtual tour. Once they have researched and kept a journal of their thoughts as they researched, the students will write an editorial that reflects on their thoughts.
Campaigns and Your Vote by Deborah Majors - Word Document
The lesson focuses on campaigns (how they influence public opinion), and voting, which includes an interactive Voting Rights timeline. This lesson Using the online Campaigns and Elections project resource and is designed for a 5th grade curriculum.
Classroom Communities by Jessica Lambert - Word Document
Rationale: This lesson plan is intended for fourth grade, but may be used at any grade level. When teaching why laws are needed so society can function properly, students will understand the concept better if they experienced it themselves. In creating your own classroom community, you allow the children to see why the aspects of laws, citizenship, and democracy are necessary.
An Election 2008 Scavenger Hunt by Ben Cox - Word Document
Louisiana Benchmark: C-1D-M5
Why Should Citizens Vote for President? by Beth Kleinpeter - Word Document
Rational: This lesson is designed to help students understand how government officials are elected at the National level. Election Day will be held on November 4, 2008. The Democratic National Convention was held in Denver, Colorado on August 25-28, 2008. The Republican National Convention was held in Saint Paul, Minnesota on Sept. 1-4, 2008. This lesson is designed to be taught before conventions take place, so students can be aware of each candidate’s platform. Students will discuss and determine the importance of current campaign issues needing to be addressed by the Presidential candidates. Students will examine how the news media addresses the issues and the importance of being informed about the candidate’s stand on important issues that will affect the nation.
Students will have the opportunity to voice their opinion on whether or not they believe that all men are created equal after thorough research given through a webquest and virtual tour. Once they have researched and kept a journal of their thoughts as they researched, the students will write an editorial that reflects on their thoughts.
Format: This lesson is designed for classroom instruction guided by the teacher, or in an advanced case, students can access it via the web and work at their on pace with deadlines given by the teacher. The teacher will determine time. (I would guess 2-3 weeks.) Targeted grade level could be 8-12.
Web Lesson on Political Parties by Sharon Law -Word Document
Grade Level: 9-12
Subjects: History, Information Skills, Language Arts
Learner Outcomes: Students will work in pairs to research via the internet to compile information on 5 active political parties.
Upon completion of the web lesson, the student will be able to identify specific information about the 5 parties: core values, organizational framework, (approximate) national membership, modes of communication between members, and prominent figures within each party.
The student will then determine which party s/he most identifies with and why and share this with the class.The class members will then divide into groups based on their chosen parties. A discussion will follow to share the students’ experiences.
Duration of Lesson: Two or three class periods (approx. 50 minutes each)