Try It Tuesday: ELECTIONS


Every few years something neat happens.  Our nation prepares to elect a new leader, and Americans respond with a heightened level of curiosity and a renewed interest about the process.  This opportunity isn’t lost on homeschooling parents and other teachers, who like to seize the chance to explain it all to their students.  Plus, historic events like these tend to pique the interest of book writers, curriculum developers and publishers, too, spawning a whole new crop of educational resources that families can use as they make their way through another exciting election year.

No matter what age your child(ren), and whether you’re homeschooling or not, election years contain many opportunities for talking to kids and teaching about our nation’s system of government.  To get the ball rolling, some parents like to locate resources on store shelves and sites on the Internet that their kids can use.  Other families prefer to develop classes or unit studies about elections all on their own.  But no matter how it’s done, it isn’t very hard, and the rewards are really worth it!

As an example, some years ago, I taught a small group of elementary and middle schoolers about elections.  I began with a little research,  gathered some books and web sites, and then sat down to think about how to appeal to the mixed age group and have some fun with it, too.  We all ended up having a blast, starting with short readings and Q&A to gain some background, followed by a project that allowed the students to get really creative on their own (or in pairs).    Using drawings, creating slogans and developing print and television ads, each student created a character and then promoted his or her own candidate — happily learning all along the campaign trail.

This all leads to today’s question:  What are you planning to do this election year?

Have you discovered any web sites you really like?  Resources you can share with others?

Readers are interested in what you have to say and share.   That’s why today’s Try It Tuesday (our first!) is all about ELECTIONS.

Today, and for the next 7 days, use the COMMENT area to post your tips and thoughts (and even questions) about teaching and projects related to the elections.  You can also use the LINKY to add your articles and blog posts, too!

Feel free to include this button in your posts to identify the project and help spread the word —

 (Note: This is our first linky post so we’re crossing our fingers that it all works out!)

And don’t forget to check back or subscribe because next month’s Try It Tuesday’s topic is TEACHING WRITING.



  1. Denise says

    The Florida Bar maintains a website for Justice Teaching, a lawyer volunteer program for school age children. The website is open to the public and offers a wide variety of government lesson plans, as well as useful links to other sites.

    In particular, I recommend The Bill of Rights Institute, which has a new section with lesson plans on the topic of elections.

    Also very good is The Center for Civic Education at

    Scholastic has a huge section on elections, too, including a current article on Elections 2012 along with a lot of printable activities.

    Politics are a big topic in our house. The news is always on, and we try to have daily conversations about current events. I think this a great topic for homeschoolers. Thanks Marie-Claire for initiating the discussion.

    • QuickStartHomeschool says

      Thank you for your many contributions, Sara! I already see a couple of new things I’d like to try :)


  2. Marie-Claire says

    Reader Sara T. asked about the books pictured in the photo. They are:

    How do we elect our leaders? Weekly Reader
    Why are elections important? Weekly Reader
    The Official Nick Guide to Electing the President, Chronicle Books

    These are for a younger audience. Hope that helps!

  3. says

    I have to admit that I have never taught the children about the election process. I’m slightly embarrassed. Time to get on it, the timing is perfect. Thank you for these resources.

    • QuickStartHomeschool says

      Wasn’t familiar with that one! Nothing better than learning with Ben Franklin :) Thanks, Anne Marie!

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