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Voting to Make Your Voice Heard

Life Skills:

  • Thinking & Reasoning
  • Communication
  • Social & Civic Responsibility
  • Systems Thinking

Time Frame:
3 class periods that run 45 minutes each.

Group Size:
Small Groups


 

Summary:

Students will understand the rights and responsibilities of voting in local, state, and national elections.

Essential questions:

  1. What are the roles of elected officials in our state government?
  2. Why is it important for citizens to vote?

Enduring understanding:
Students will be able to identify the roles of elected officials in Utah and explain the importance of voting as a citizen of our state.

Main Curriculum Tie:
Social Studies - 4th Grade
Standard 3 Objective 1

Describe the responsibilities and rights of individuals in a representative government as well as in the school and community.

Career Connections:

  • Political office, civic leader, campaign volunteer

Materials:

  • Computer and internet access
  • books and/or pamphlets containing information on government officials and the roles they play in society
  • The Utah Adventure textbook.

Background For Teachers:
Knowledge of the voting process in local, state, and national elections. Teachers need to understand the importance of the rights and responsibilities for citizens to vote.

Web Sites

Student Prior Knowledge:
Vocabulary: vote, election, debate, ballot, choice, candidate, issue, platform.

Intended Learning Outcomes:
Student will understand the rights and responsibilities of citizens to vote in school, community, state, and national elections.

Instructional Procedures:

Day 1
Invitation to Learn: Inform the class that you have decided they will all dress in yellow and green tomorrow. Those who do not will be required to stay in at recess and write a paper explaining why they have not obeyed the new "law." Discuss the democratic process and the importance of having choices in our laws and government.

  1. Introduce The Democratic Process website.
  2. Discuss the importance of every citizen's right and responsibility to vote.
  3. Divide the class into groups of 4 or 5 and have each group choose an elected position to investigate (i.e, mayor, governor, county commissioner, president, judge, etc.).Give each student an Activity Rubric and discuss the rubric with each group.
  4. Instruct students to work as a group to find the responsibilities of the position they have been assigned using the websites provided, or books on local, state, and national government.
  5. Have students begin their investigation using the question and answer sheet provided.

Day 2

  1. Have each group present their findings for the elected position they chose.
  2. Discuss the importance of choosing an official you can trust, has a good record, and someone that agrees with your point of view.
  3. Present an issue that can be discussed and has several options, such as who should be in charge of planning the end of the year party.
  4. Divide into groups and have each group create a platform listing the reasons they would do the best job planning the party, what they would include and why, and what activities would be included and why. Use the "Why You Should Vote for Us" worksheet.
  5. Give students time to complete this activity.

Day 3

  1. Review the democratic process.
  2. Have each group present their "platform."
  3. Conduct the mock election using ballots.
  4. Count the votes while the students are filling out the Activity Rubric then report results of the election to the class.
  5. Have students discuss why elections are important, why we are responsible to vote, and what would happen if some choose not to vote.


Attachments

Web Sites

Strategies For Diverse Learners:
Special needs students may be paired with students who are willing and able to assist and direct if needed. If appropriate, they may be place in charge of running the election itself (handing out and collecting ballots, tallying votes, being the MC of the platform presentations etc.)

Accelerated students may wish to create a presentation to share with other students in the school concerning elections and the importance of the democratic process.

Extensions:
Invite an elected official such as a County Commissioner to present information to the class concerning the resources provided by the local, state, or national government. Contact Kids Voting USA for classroom activities concerning the voting process, responsibilities, and a mock election. See attachment.

Web Sites

  • Kids Voting USA
    A national project that introduces kids to the voting process on a level each grade can understand.

Assessment Plan:
Students will conduct a mock election. This election will include creating an issue to be voted upon, differing viewpoints, reasoning for each view, voting, counting votes and announcing the results. Teachers can use the Non- achievement Factors Rubric to score how well students are able to work together in groups, follow the rules and participate with the class.

Rubric:

Author:
Candy Peters
Lynn Paquin

Created Date :
Jun 26 2009 09:33 AM

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