Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Election Lesson Plans & Ideas

Regardless of how you feel about the upcoming election, I feel that as a teacher, it is my duty to teach my students about the election.  I think that it's important to teach students early, that voting is a privilege, and that they can make a difference.  I started my election unit today and on Friday we will hold a mock election.  I won't be at school Monday or Tuesday, due to a teaching conference, so we will take this opportunity to learn about early voting.  In case anyone is still planning, I thought that I would share what we've been doing so far.  

I took the plunge and finally purchased Scholastic News for Grade 1 for my classroom.  After logging on line to watch some of the videos that accompany the issue, I made a great discovery...

I'm not entirely sure why, but for a limited time, you can access the online issues.  I know that with my subscription I will be able to do this, but for right now, it's free for everyone.  I only checked first grade, so I can't say for sure for other grades.  Just follow the links below to check and see.  

I was able to pull up each issue on my classroom Promethean Board and click on interactive parts to learn about vocabulary and play interactive games.   For the election issue, you can view videos for each candidate too.  One option that we really enjoyed was being able to change the audio on the videos and text to Spanish.   I have a high ESL population in my class so I played both versions for my students.  They really enjoyed hearing the videos in Spanish.  

After learning different facts about each candidate, we created a Double Bubble map to show what we learned.  To create the Double Bubble map I used pictures and titles from Gladys Hooray for Election Day Unit.There are more fantastic ideas in this unit than there is time! 

The rest of the week, we will focus on writing about each candidate and then writing about who we think our next president should be.  Friday, we will predict who we think will win, we will hold a mock election,  and we will analyze our data.  For homework, each child was asked to go home and find the candidates on TV.  I told them to tell their families some of the fun facts that we learned.  Tonight I shared all the fun facts with my family over dinner and they seemed super impressed! 

To view the online Scholastic News Issues and videos, click on the link below. 


  1. Love the bubble map!!!! Such a great idea to pull in the colors:)


  2. I LOVE this! Thank you for sharing the picture!

  3. LOVE it! I'm so glad your 'lil ones are having fun learning about our candidates. Thanks for the shout out!

  4. I am loving the Weekly Reader/Scholastic News mash-up. We've gotten Weekly Reader at my school for the last couple of years and when the issues cam this year I was so excited. Awesome that it's free online now. The kiddos love the videos and games on there!

    You Might Be a First Grader...

  5. Hi!
    My name is Joana, I am 24 years old and I am from Portugal (next to Spain).
    I am a primary school teacher in a private college and this is my third year of teaching. Since last year I discovered many blogs like yours through “Pinterest”.
    I implemented some of your ideas and I am fascinated by your creativity, cooperation in classroom, independence and autonomy that you give to the children.
    I’d tried to do many things similar to yours but they were not always well accepted by my director and coordinator, because innovation makes a difference, and in making a difference insecurity is more than often created!
    I wonder if there’s any possibility to do an internship in your school, to learn and see, in practice, what I visualize in your blogs.
    I’d love to get an international experience for about one or two years in your country.
    My partner, Tiago, is also a teacher. He teaches English to Kindergarten and primary school children. He wanted to go to China but for me, it’s too far, and then there is the difference in the culture and language which would cause other types of adaption, which I feel would impede my spontaneity. He would love to learn new approaches and different strategies in his field.
    My e-mail is: joana_mbarbosa@hotmail.com, and I trust that you will be able to assist me in improving my educational skills. If it is necessary to give my contact to another person, please feel free to do so.
    With my best regards,
    Joana Fernandes

  6. Randi, this was such a great post!
    We are both using Scholastic Weekly Readers and I love the interactive websites! Your double bubble map is amazing! ROCK ON! So nice to meet a fellow first grade teacher! I am your newest follower!
    Stop by for a visit!
    Ms. Marciniak's First Grade Critter Cafe

  7. Hi Randi,
    I was just stopping by to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!

    The Picture Book Teacher's Edition



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