|From: bendbulletin.com Art by Ben Clanton|
In the final two weeks before the 2012 elections here are some diverse ways to look, learn and bring the national and local issues to your kids. The resources below have games, national projects and challenges, and research tools.
PROJECTS AND CHALLENGES:
Engage in Democracy 2012 Student Journalism Challenge is a non-profit project supported by the Media Arts Institute whose goals are to engage K-12 students in democracy, leadership, and community involvement. Through the challenge described below Engage 2012 goals are to:
- encourage curiosity,
- develop students' technical and non-fiction storytelling skills in a hands-on learning environment,
- assist educators in building curriculum that teachers about journalism and the democratic process, and
- empower students to make positive changes on a community and societal level
"To participate, shoot a video under two minutes in length using stories from around your community with a focus on one of six big election topics below. You or a team of three students can submit three entries by January 19, 2012. Research, shoot, write, edit. Use your smartphone, camcorder or flip camera...we are looking for entries that are fair, accurate and informative. The six big election topic are:
- voter turnout
- jobs and the economy
- education reform
- health care
- energy and the environment
MTV's Fantasy Election is an interactive game for kids. Students log in and pick their political dream team for President and for Congress. Points are accumulated based on how each candidate rates in the real world along numerous dimensions (such as honesty, transparency, public opinion, and engagement), for logging in to the debates. reading information online in published articles and even showing up at local political events. They are offering great prizes and if you're not sure what your dream team is, "Doris" their computer can generate one for you which can be tweaked any time up to the elections.
Join the Debate is a forum for high school students to chat about the debates. After each debate, students are invited to log in and discuss the issues (the economy, renewable energy, education, foreign policy civil rights, and immigration, the candidates and their questions in a safe environment of peers from all over the world. High school students can log in and are assigned to a video chat discussion group led by one of their facilitators on Google hangout.
- Conduct your own debates
- Mock Presidential debates
- Mock Congressional debates of local candidates
- Debate the issues. To give everyone a voice you may opt for small groups, and either have each group debate each issue or assign issues to the various groups - allow them to debate - and then reflect their opinions to the class as a whole.
- Conduct polls (neighborhood, class and/or school) for local or student and/or staff opinions on the candidates and on selected issues (gun control, immigration, economy, energy, health care, educations, or even voter turnout).
- For visual literacy activities: Look at the election cartoons and art. Discuss use of slogans, colors, animals and content to relay information and attempt to sway opinions.
- When researching topics (please see suggested tools/sites below) some websites and newspaper articles are more objective than others. Discuss the role and challenges of objective reporting.
- Discuss how you can set up elections booths in the classroom for the school students. Discuss need for ID's, polling, and how best to create a ballot and vote.2 days ago2 days ago
TOOLS THAT PRESENT ELECTION INFORMATION (note some are more objective than others and this on its own is an excellent discussion or project):
2 days agoroject):
- http://www.google.com/elections/ed/us this site allows you to sort information along candidates and issues and follow search trends and follow real time public opinion.
- FactCheck.org monitors the accuracy of what candidates actually say. There is an awesome viral spiral page which lists false or misleading information gone viral that they are asked most frequently about.
- 2012 election for kids cartoons you should screen them first but there are some wonderful cartoons here rife for discussion.
- TIME Magazine for Kids special election coverage - this site has links on the debates, behind the scenes at the conventions, meet the candidates (Presidential and VicePresidential), chat rooms, and meet the media to name a few. They also have a link where kids can cast their own votes.
- Scholastic Magazine also has a neat site that features "breaking news" meet the candidates, lesson plans for teachers and parents, election vocabulary, election timeline, and election maps and games.
- USA.gov - Government Made Easy - has information about the elections and voting, the electoral college, election history, legislation and reform, and links for educational material
- http://www.infoplease.com/us/government/presidential-election-campaign-2012.html is a wonderful resource. Under "History and Government" they have a wealth of information on the election, the candidates, and the issues. Sections at this site include:
- Mitt Romney on the Issues
- Barak Obama on the Issues
- Elections & Issues (with information on the closest Presidential races, the electoral college vs. popular vote, PACs, superdeligates, types of ballots)
- Presidential Factfile with information on past and present Presidents, their families, their pardons, and milestones, to name a few
- Presidential Fun Stuff - with quizzes, slideshows, films, crossword puzzles, games
- Inaugural speeches and notable addresses
|Chan Lowe from http://theweek.com/section/cartoon/93/235059/2012-elections|
Regardless of who you vote for, make sure you vote and please share some of your favorite kid-friendly ideas ore websites.
Thanks for your visit and comments.