Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Speak Up!

“Speak up!” Didn't you hear that often enough in your formative years from adults trying to encourage you to say what is on your mind and let others be aware of your ideas? I know firsthand that as a parent, it is one of the things that we encourage in our own children. As American citizens, we also need to speak up in our government and raise our opinions clearly through elections as well as other outlets. As these children of ours grow up and become adults in our communities, they need to be aware and informed of the election process, the workings of American government, and ways that they can impact the process.

When studying elections, your family can learn so much, including:

· the history of elections
· the basic structure of representative government
· the voting and election process
· participating in a campaign
· the basics of statistics and how they are used in campaigns and elections

· facts about presidents, their families, and their opponents

As this generation matures, they need to be fully aware of their own capabilities and responsibilities within the framework of our American government. This unit study can open the doors to further learning and understanding in these areas, while getting the whole family involved in elections and politics. As parents, we need to be aware of issues that affect us in our efforts. Students need to understand that they, too, will need to stay involved in the process to protect and maintain these constitutional freedoms.

Make learning about this great country a wonderful and interesting adventure. Instead of learning about elections and government from a dried up textbook, enjoy the process using real books. Discover exciting elections and unpredictable outcomes, and read biographies of various presidents and their own family lives.

Elections 2012 Unit Study Adventure offers all of this and more. Starting with the younger students, you can delve into some fun history about the Constitution and learn more about presidents such as George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. The older students can study the Constitution and its origins, and from this get a better understanding of the basic structure of our government. They can go into greater detail in their study of the election process and past and present candidates. Pursue this study on a regular basis throughout your child's education, covering different sections each time while providing a solid knowledge base in history and government, and strengthening their understanding of their rights and responsibilities.

Here are a few activities to consider when studying Elections:
1.      As you delve into the history of elections, have the students select one of the actual elections and candidates that they are interested in studying in-depth. Using the library, your home book collection, the Internet, and other resources, help them investigate the event and the people. On the Internet, you can even find each inaugural address!

2.      Issues—what issues are important to your family in the upcoming elections? Have your students determine the issues that are important to them, and explain why they are important. Consider having them interview family members about the issues that they are most concerned with during the upcoming elections. The students can summarize their findings in a written report, possibly in a family newsletter format.

3.      During election years, there are usually public sessions, debates, and "meet the candidate" get-togethers. Find out when these are scheduled and try to take your students along to watch the political process at the grassroots level.

Use this study to inform and empower the next generation! Enjoy the adventure as well as the election!

Amanda B.

PS - Don't miss out on the FREE Lapbook companion for this study!

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