Several years ago, in the midst of an election season, I began to think about how to teach my primary-age students about the upcoming election and involve them in the process.
I created differentiated texts for various readers about the candidates, found ways to incorporate math and literacy skills into the election process, and created a mock election in my classroom. I am going to share those activities with you in this post, but I wouldn’t expect you to do all the activities in one day! I would recommend spreading them out over several days or a week.
Differentiated Texts to Get to Know the Candidates
As a First Grade teacher, I try not to get into political issues in the classroom. Instead, I chose to write factual biographies about the candidates, Donald Trump and Joseph Biden. In class or in a small group setting, we read the texts and completed bubble maps to organize the information we learned. The texts range from emergent readers to three differentiated passages.
After we read and learn about the candidates, on Election Day, I let my class participate in a mock election. I keep it simple with a ballot and a ballot box. The students get to fill out a ballot, cast their vote, and receive an ‘I Voted’ sticker.
After everyone casts their vote, we count the votes and analyze the data. We graph the votes for each candidate and answer questions about the data.
In addition to reading grade-level text, I also incorporate the skill of ABC Order into our Election Day learning. I teach the election vocabulary words throughout our learning, then students color the vocabulary picture, cut the cards out, place into ABC Order, and then glue onto another sheet.
If you like all of these activities and would like to do them with your class, click here
or on the picture below to grab the unit from my TpT store!
The entire unit includes: