Election Day is right around the corner. Regardless of how you feel about this year’s Presidential nominees, teaching our children about the election process is critical if we want to prepare and inspire them to be active civic participants. But, who wants to diagram our political system or explain the Electoral College in an essay again? Not me, and I’d venture to say not your homeschoolers! That’s why we’re giving you our favorite creative Election Day lesson plans for homeschoolers. Feel free to take a vote on which to do!
The Best Election Day Lesson Plans
- Hold a mock election. Check out these mock election objectives and resources. Then, create ballots and a ballot box and take it to church, co-op, or even around the neighborhood to gather votes. Be sure to follow the election rules in your state and only allow those to vote who meet the requirements! Teach your children about the importance of voting as well as the science and math behind holding an election!
- Debate the key issues. Go beyond a dinner time debate and have your students research a candidate for office in your local, state, or even a Presidential nominee. Then, hold a mock debate! Have your homeschoolers come up with debate questions ahead of time out of their research on the candidates’ positions. Use the internet for research, consider watching campaign videos here, then focus on teaching your students about the difference between propaganda and truth. Be sure to give extra points for those who dress the part!
- Score big by playing the Win the White House. Nothing is more fun for middle schoolers than playing video games, right? Engage your gamer with the online Win the White House game from icivics.org. Players will experience the election process from the campaign trail to the Electoral College to Election Day!
- Become election detectives with an Election Scavenger Hunt. Use the list at Education World to search newspapers for a list of election-oriented items. Then create a mural of what you find using a piece of poster board, cardboard, or even a cereal box!
- Cover the political basics. Maybe you’re covering the election process and democratic principles for the first time. Good for you! Make it fun and interesting to learn about our political system and how the Electoral College works through a series of online readings and interactive elements. At iCivics, you’ll find assessments and project ideas that will ensure you’re homeschoolers are learning all they can about our political and election processes. Be sure to log your hours and print your quiz results to show what your students accomplished in their homeschool portfolio!
- Keep older kids interested by researching stranger than fiction elections. CNN has compiled the most contested, strange, or deadly elections in U.S history. Have your high schooler read through the article and then choose one election to research more thoroughly. Make sure your homeschoolers present what they have learned in a fun, informative way.
This Election Day is a great opportunity to teach your homeschoolers about our political process. We’re blessed to live in a democratic nation, but many of us don’t exercise our right and responsibility to vote. By engaging our children in the election process while they’re young, we have a better chance of their participation when they are of voting age. Most importantly, take your children with you on Election Day and vote!
What are your best Election Day lesson plans? Share them in a comment below!