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How to Teach the Election Process in Upper Elementary Classrooms

Teaching the election process in the United States is a fun privilege, but it is a huge responsibility, as well. Students need to be taught what it means to participate in government and how their voices can be heard. Teachers must ensure that they understand their rights and responsibilities in the election process.

Why is the election process so important?

The United States has a democratic government in place. That means that the country is ruled by the people of the United States. It is difficult for everyone to make decisions on everything in government, so a system of representatives is in place. The representatives are supposed to listen to the people who live in the areas that a representative represents in government. These people are the ones who vote on new laws and regulations for us at higher levels of government. The main way the average citizen gets to contribute to these decisions is by voting for people who have similar ideals to us. That is why voting and the election process are so important.

Resources for teaching your students about the importance of voting:

There are many resources available out there on the Internet for you to supplement your teaching about the importance of voting and the election process. Here are a few of my favorites:

National Geographic

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If you need more great ideas on helping your students understand in different ways why the voting and the election process are so important, National Geographic has some resources that might help. Why Voting is Important takes the time to identify several reasons why voting is important, especially in the United States. Now, pretty much any person who is a citizen of the United States over the age of 18 can vote, but that’s not how it always was. At the beginning of the history of the United States, only white men who were property owners could vote. That left out a lot of the population of the US. We have remedied most of those loopholes in voting now. 

Learn About Representatives in the Election Process

LawCraft is an interactive resource available through National Geographic that allows students to take on the role of a member of Congress. Throughout the interactive experience, students need to think about what is good for the country while also remembering to take the opinions and views of the people whom they represent into account. It is a fun activity that walks students through the law-making process in the United States. 

The Electoral College

The Electoral College is in place to help determine the winner of the Presidential election process in the United States every four years. Another great National Geographic resource, this interactive map helps students learn more about the Electoral College. There is a great article that helps teach students why the Electoral College is in place and why it makes sense in the United States.

Once you’ve looked at the map and read the article on the National Geographic site, I have a couple of fun resources for your students to use and remember even more about the Electoral College and the election process. The Electoral Scavenger Hunt and the Electoral College Digital Escape Room will encourage your students to use what they’ve learned and put themselves to the challenge. 

Presidential Elections

In addition to the Electoral College, there are many things that students need to know about the Presidential election process. Your students need to know information about how presidential candidates get started in their campaigns, collect money, get support from other government officials, and debate one another. To help you with this goal, I have quite a few Presidential Election Process Resources at your disposal. From color by numbers, puzzle breakouts, scavenger hunts, to escape rooms, your students will beg for more resources focused on the Presidential election process. 

Teaching the election process in upper elementary doesn’t have to be hard!

With all the resources available to you through the National Geographic website on the Voting Process and the resources I have developed, you’re all set. Your students will be drawn into the world of election processes and will be excited to continue learning more about this aspect of the United States government.

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