Katie just stumbled across a fabulous tool that, while it might be a bit late for today’s election, is still a very useful resource for students of all ages. If they’re not yet old enough to vote, this is especially useful. Kids Voting USA is an organization that helps students become informed and knowledgeable about important topics. A bit more about them:
We operate through a national network of community-based affiliates that partner with schools and election officials to offer students in Kindergarten through high school a wide range of opportunities for civic learning.
It is the combination of classroom instruction, family dialogue and an authentic voting experience that makes Kids Voting USA a powerful strategy for achieving long-term change in voting behavior.
KVUSA classroom civics activities introduce students to the concepts of citizenship in the earliest grades and continue throughout their school years. This ongoing education develops strong skills and habits for living in a democracy.
After classroom preparation, students take part in a voting experience using a ballot that mirrors that of the adults with the same candidates and issues. This “real life” practice dispels the mysteries of the voting process and reinforces the knowledge and skills gained through Kids Voting classroom activities.
It’s all designed to work with the social studies curriculum currently used so teachers can choose activities that are appropriate to lesson plans and that fit time requirements. Kids Voting USA classroom materials are not an “add-on” to an already full teaching schedule. These activities are tools to help teachers meet the standards outlined in the National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies as well as state curriculum standards for social studies.
Kids Voting USA has enriched it’s classroom activities! We’ve updated and revised the content of the activities, added new themes and changed the format. If you’ve been using Civics Alive! and Destination Democracy, you’ll find many of the same concepts and activities — only better!
Here are some sample activities:
K-2 Grade Activity -Election Bulletin Board
3-5 Grade Activity – Our Homes, Our Town, Our Country
6-8 Grade Activity – Voting Barriers
9-12 Grade Activity – Creative Expressions
Destination Democracy is a comprehensive high school service-learning curriculum. It expands the definition of service-learning curriculum to include activities directly related to politics and the democratic process. This curriculum has lessons and activities that focus on meaningful civic engagement through voting, voter registration, working for political candidates, researching and debating public policy issues, and educating young children about the political process and ways to address community issues.
Kids Voting USA also offers a Latino Culture Supplement. The goal of these lessons is to provide supplemental material to the KVUSA program that has an emphasis on Latino culture. It is important to note that the activities and resources in the supplement are designed to be accessible to all students, whether or not they are of Latino heritage. While the material was designed for the high school level, younger grades may benefit from the activities as well with some modification.