The American Presidential elections are always a great teaching opportunity, however many times, children aren't taught about the entire election process, as the main focus is usually on the final part of the election process, between one candidate for each party. There is so much more to teach the election process to your kids, and maybe even learn how to be more active in your own decision, as a voting adult.
How to Teach the Election Process to Your Kids
There is so much learning opportunities for your family long before the final stage of the Presidential election begins, and these learning opportunity can also be a great way to teach about the issues that you value most.
Here are some lesson plan ideas that will help you to teach the election process to your kids, while allowing your family to evaluate the candidates and narrow down the one(s) that have your support.
- Learn the Vocabulary of the Election Process – The election process can be very confusing, unless your child understand the top vocabulary commonly used during the process. Here are some top vocabulary ideas to get you started: republic, democratic, democracy, candidate, incumbent, nomination, elector, independent, minority, majority, delegate, House of Representative, Congress, caucus, primary, convention, inauguration, poll, precinct and politician.
- Identify the Top Issues that Matter to Your Family – Learning about family values and how politicians stand on these issues, can be a great opportunity for your family to learn how to stand up to the values that matter the most to you, and help you identify the best candidates.
- Learn What the Different Parties Stand – Identifying what it means to be Republican, Democratic or even Independent, and then deciding where your political beliefs line up with each of these parties to identify what party you will be wanting to win the final stage of the Presidential election.
- Identify Where the Candidates Stand on Your Top Issues – This lesson idea is a great way for you to teach about how different thinking can be for others, and why it is important to vote for those who stand on your side of the issues. Each candidate has their own website, and list where they stand on the most popular issues.
- Learn about the Primary Process – The primary process is done prior to the actual Presidential race between parties. This process is so important and often times, overlooked be Americans. This process narrows down the candidates to one for each party, and if you aren't aware of the issues, where the candidates stand and how the national party conventions are the first step to the most popular part of the elections.
- Watch Debates between Candidates – Debates are done for the opportunity for all candidates to give their own timed response to questions about popular issues today. These debates are very important to the election process, as it will give a person the concepts of not only where a candidate stands on an issue but also be able to read their expression, hear their tone of voice and get a visual feel of how the candidate presents themselves under pressure.
- Go on an Election Field Trip – Learning all the facts about the candidates can be more interesting when done on a field trip, where children are engaged and seeing things as real as they really are.