vizslas4u wrote:I have started my oldest in Kindergarten, and she's going very quickly through the curriculum. In order to make it last, and still stimulate her mind, I am going to fill in with "current event/interest weeks". I was hoping to use the current election as a week-long lesson. Does any one have a book or a website that is good for explaining the election process, but isn't so far above her head that I can't simplify it? So many that I have found are for 3rd/4th grades and up.
Along that line, does anyone have a good resource for teaching the concept of: a city is inside a state which is inside the USA which is inside the World, since she is getting very confused by that concept.
This is such an interesting election year. I'm teaching an election class for ages 9-13 at our weekly co-op and you are right, most resources are for those ages or above.
But I don't think you need books for teaching this to little ones. Here's my game plan for my 2nd grader: We just are explaining to her that every four years we get to choose a new president and this is one of those years. You can say that you are excited because the race is close. You may explain, "I will vote for _____ because I agree with him more."
Here are some important points for young kids:
1. The vote is private. I don't have to tell my neighbor, coworker, or the lady at church how I voted.
2. Voting is a privilege and citizens must register to do it. You can make a pretend registration form.
3. Some countries don't let the people vote. Or if they do vote, the vote may not count. Try this for dessert. Before you go shopping, have the family vote for dessert. If apple pie wins, then you get to eat apple pie. Then, next week, vote again. If ice cream wins, give them cheesecake. It's not what they voted for, but -- surprise -- the vote didn't count! Some countries are like that. If you want, have kids lobby for certain desserts and make posters why apple pie is better than ice cream, etc.
4. Tell her that we vote for some laws, mayors, governors, etc. Not just president.
5. Watch the inauguration on Jan 20. And maybe watch the results of elections in November. Color in a USA map with red and blue. Fun to watch. You can explain that states with more people get more of a vote. It would be sort of if your neighborhood voted on desserts and the big families got more of a voice than the smaller families.
6. If there are not a lot of people in your family, dig up all those stuffed animals and lego guys and such and have them vote.
7. You can explain that the Pres/VP run as a "ticket." You cannot vote for one party's vice president and the other party's president. Sort of like "cookies and milk" going against "apple pie and ice cream."
No need at this age to go into the electoral college. No need for a big book either.
Okay, about cities and states and such. There's a book that ECC recommnends called "Me on the Map" or something like that. It's a good book to sort of get the concept of city - state - country - world.
If that doesn't do the trick, start with what you know. YOu know your house. So, today, draw a map of your street or block. Tomorrow, discuss that other little girls live in other neighborhoods and draw a rough map of your city. Put the park, the zoo, the church, the grocery store and the dentist on it. The next day mention the other cities in your state with zoos, dentists, and grocery stores. Draw your state and put your city and a few others on it. At this point, maybe get out a road atlas and find your city. Mention that the atlas isn't big enough to show your neighborhood or street. But, there's your city! Then, the next day, find a USA map (we have a nice little $1 placemat from Walmart) and find your state. Can she find about where your city is? Then, move up to the globe.
And, if she doesn't get it, give it a year or two. It is a complex concept and not really easy to get at a young age. If she doesn't get it, just keep that globe handy. When a news story comes on (or appears in print) about the flooding in India, you can say, "there's India and they need prayer." Eventually the light bulb comes on. No rushing it.
Kelly, wife to Jim since 1988, mom to Jamie (a girl, 1994), Mary (1996), Brian (1998) and Stephanie (2001).