This learning opportunity educates students about democracy, reading and analyzing information, the election process, making decisions, different levels of government, ways that citizens participate in political life, and more.
Through the activities, students will:
The activity targets students in grades K-12 and aligns to Common Core and NC Essential Standards for social studies.
Learn about the candidates, the government offices they are running for, and any other key issues in the election.
If you find there is too much information, or too many candidates, one way to start is with an issue you care about (education, environment, jobs, healthcare, etc.). Then find information about the candidates and their views on that issue.
As you are thinking, ask questions
Tip: In an election, focus more on the individual candidates, their ideas, and their solutions - and less on the political parties and their platforms.
Review what you have learned about the candidates - did they share ideas and solutions, or mostly complain about the opposing candidate?
Rate the candidates, using the decision-making chart for students. Decide who you agree with the most. Based on the information you know, do you think the candidate will do a good job? Consider the candidate's:
Active citizens and leaders don’t just read and think about information. They take action with it! One important opportunity for citizens to participate in democracy and in the community is by voting. Every year there is an election. it is important to cast a ballot to make your voice heard!
You can make your voice heard outside of voting, too. Have an idea for the community? Be a problem-solver, and make your voice heard! Or, be a citizen journalist.
Once you vote, are you finished? NO! After the election, look for the official election results. Keep track of the winning candidates - do they keep their campaign promises? Do they make good decisions? Stay involved - watch or attend government meetings, keep up with the news, and contact elected officials about issues you care about.
If you are in high school, get involved in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Youth Council, and work with public officials to solve community problems. Middle and elementary school students, one way to get involved is by making sure the youth council members – your representatives - know what’s on YOUR mind! Contact GenerationNation - we will share your ideas with teen leaders.
Download activities and resource list
Correlations to Common Core and NC Essential Standards