Activities to Teach Students About Presidential Elections

As the presidential election season approaches, educators have a great opportunity to teach their students about civics and democracy. While it may seem daunting to approach such a complex topic with students, there are many activities that can make it fun and engaging. By providing students with a strong foundation in the electoral process, teachers can help to inspire a new generation of civic-minded citizens.

One activity that can be utilized as a discussion tool is a mock election. Teachers can use a variety of resources to provide students with unbiased, accurate information about both candidates – information that the students can then use to form their own opinions. Once students have had the chance to research and learn about the candidates, a mock election can be held in the classroom. Students can fill out ballots and cast their votes, which can then be tallied and discussed as a class. This process can be repeated in future lessons as the election draws closer to keep students engaged and informed.

Another fun and interactive activity is creating a political party. Students can be divided into groups and tasked with creating a party platform, complete with a slogan, a list of issues, and a candidate for the party’s nomination. These platforms can then be presented to the class, followed by a vote to determine which party students believe has the strongest platform.

Teaching about the electoral process and the role of the Electoral College in the United States can be a challenging topic. One way to make it more accessible is to create a board game. This allows students to learn about different states, how the Electoral College works and how it is possible for the winner of the popular vote to lose the election. Providing a tangible example of the electoral process can make a significant difference in students’ ability to understand and grasp it.

Lastly, creating campaigns is another engaging activity, you can split students into pairs and have them create campaigns for their chosen candidates, including commercials, posters, and slogans. Campaigns can be shared with the class and discussed in a review style format, they can also be judged by other peers or by the teacher to determine which campaign is the most effective.

Regardless of the activity, the key to success is ensuring that it is engaging, interactive, and rooted in accurate information. By sparking students’ interest in presidential elections early on, educators can help to ensure they are informed citizens for years to come. Teaching real-time applications of the democratic process instills a sense of responsibility in young people to stay informed, involved, and engaged in the democratic process.

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