Fall Extended Elementary School Lesson Plans
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Lesson 1: Who Can Vote in the United States? Print E-mail

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This lesson challenges students to speculate about voting requirements. Students will begin learning vocabulary that is used when talking about voting.

The Citizens, Not Spectators elementary curriculum correlates with the We the People: The Citizen & the Constitution elementary student text’s Unit Four, Lesson 21: “How Does the Constitution Protect Your Right to Vote?”

 
Lesson 2: Suffrage Amendments Print E-mail

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This lesson challenges students to compare their assumptions for voting requirements from Lesson 1 with the actual voting requirements set by selected amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Students learn how limited the voting population was in our early history as a nation and how constitutional amendments have guaranteed the right to vote for many more citizens. Students also identify groups who cannot vote and discuss their opinions.

 
Lesson 3: Becoming a Voter Print E-mail

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In this lesson, students apply their state’s requirements for registering to vote. Students learn when and how to register, how to complete a voter registration form, and when and how to reregister.

 
Lesson 4: Becoming an Informed Voter Print E-mail

downloadThis lesson focuses on a voter’s need to be fully informed prior to casting a vote on Election Day and how to acquire the necessary information. Students learn what a yes or no vote or a decision to abstain means on a ballot. Students learn the definitions of amendment,initiative, and referendum. By completing the handouts for school referendums, students are given the opportunity to think critically and to learn first hand why voters need to be fully informed about ballot questions.

 
Lesson 5: What Is A Good Rule? Creating Our Ballot Questions Print E-mail

downloadThis lesson offers students the opportunity to take the role of voters with special interests. Students draw up initiatives for new classroom or school rules. Working in groups of four or five, students share their ideas and rationale for new rules. Students listen to other students’ interests, provide justifications for new rules, and reach a consensus by majority vote. Each group submits its priority initiative for ballot consideration. Schedule this lesson to give students sufficient time to discuss their initiatives before the simulated election.

 
Lesson 6: The Culminating Activity: In-Class Simulated Election Print E-mail

downloadIn this lesson, students apply what they have learned about voting procedures and experience the processes similar to a real election polling site by role-playing poll workers with specific duties. Students become familiar with the polling site procedures and mechanics of voting in their state. Students cast their vote and assist others with voting in an environment that approximates an actual polling place. The lesson’s election simulation coincides with the actual November general election for a more authentic experience. A supervisor, ideally the registrar of voters, should be in the vicinity of the voting booths to assist students who may have questions about the voting process and mechanisms.