Am I Missing Something? Vote

11/6/2017

Vote Video and Lesson Plans

Video Message

  • All eligible voters should exercise their right to vote. 
  • Voter apathy is a problem.
  • When people vote, their ideas count.
  • By voting, people can make a difference.

Goals

  • To strengthen understanding of the connection between voting and having a voice in a representative democracy.
  • To develop an awareness of the forms of government, government stability, voter freedom, and voter turnout of various countries of the world.
  • To increase student understanding of the election process.
  • To increase student understanding and appreciation of representative democracy in America.
  • To increase voter participation in community, state, and national elections.

Desired Impact

  • Greater appreciation of the right to vote.
  • Increased voter registration and participation.
  • Favorable change in impressions of the political system held by the public. 
  • Increased citizen knowledge, understanding, appreciation, and participation in the political system.
  • Greater appreciation of representative democracy in America. 
Activities

 Activity #1

 Activity #2

Activity #3

  • View and summarize video.
  • Develop organization charts and identify responsibilities for different levels of government.

Extensions: 

  • Create a product to demonstrate understanding.
  • Utilize E-Learning Modules
  • Research to determine procedures for voter registration, running for office, and elections
  • Research elections/Form of government for other countries

Suggested timeframe: 

  • 1 Class Period

Suggested timeframe:

  • 2 Class Periods

Suggested timeframe:

  • 2 Class Periods

Objectives:

Objectives:

Objectives:

  • The student will summarize and interpret the message of the video to identify the purpose, audience, and effectiveness of the message.
  • The student will apply knowledge of vocabulary used in the video by using it appropriately in verbal and written activities.
  • The student will research the process for registering to vote and ways in which individuals can participate in the political process. 
  • The students will compare forms of government, voter freedom, and voter participation in chosen countries.
  • The student will apply analogical thinking to make comparisons between governments of selected countries, citing historical events.

Procedure:

Procedure:

Procedure:

  • Introduce lesson by asking students if they feel it is important to have a voice in how things are decided in the classroom or in their families.
  •  Allow students freedom to express their opinions and compile a list of ways in which they could have input. 
  • When voting is mentioned, elaborate and ask if decisions were being decided by vote, would they participate.
  • Introduce the video and show to the group.
  • Discuss student impressions of the video, identifying the purpose of the film maker and intended audience.
  • View the video again, with students making notes of phrases mentioned. 
  • Discuss the meaning of Representative Democracy and how it depends on voter participation.
  • Break the group into three smaller groups. Assign a level of government  (local, state, national) to each group to develop the following:
  1. Organizational chart 
  2. Responsibilities for that level.
  • Provide access to reference websites and/or materials
  • In large group, teams share charts and lists compiled, allowing additions to be made as the discussion progresses.
  • Reiterate importance of informed voter participation as a mechanism to make a difference and have a voice in government. 
  • Refer to the earlier brainstorming activity that listed ways to participate in the political process and have your voice heard.
  • Compile and post a list to which students can add as the class progresses.
  • Extension: Students express their understanding on the importance of voting and ways in which citizens can participate in the political process in one of the following:
  1. Essay
  2. Poster
  3. Presentation
  4. Children’s book
  5. Other with teacher approval
  • Introduce e-learning modules from Center on Congress website.
 Day 1:
  • Introduce the lesson by asking specifics about registering to vote, running for office, and voting.  
  • As students determine that they have limited knowledge of procedures, compile a list of questions and develop a list of resource people for possible interview. Ex: 
  1. City Clerk
  2. Circuit Clerk
  3. Mayor
  4. City Councilman
  5. State Representative
  6. State Senator
  7. Congressional Staff Member
  8. Member of Congress
Day 2: As schedule permits
  • Conduct an interview of the resource person using questions compiled in earlier class. 
  • Students gather notes and reflect on the information in an essay.
  • Compose thank you letters to send to the resource person.
  • Invite a state legislator to class through the America’s Legislators Back to School Program, www.ncsl.org/backtoschool 
Day 1:
  • Open lesson with a discussion of representative democracy in America. 
  • Ask for the meaning of voter apathy and why people would be apathetic about voting. 
  • Introduce the website for the Center on Congress at Indiana University and navigate as a group. www.centeroncongress.org
  • Given the list of countries on the “International Voter Turnout” slide, make predictions and identify the voter percentages.
  • Discuss reasons given for not voting by 18-26 year olds.
  • Ask students about forms of government for selected other countries, making a list of countries about which the students have no clear knowledge of the form of government.
  • Individually or in small groups, students select a country from list and conduct research to determine the following: 
  1. Form of government
  2. Record of voter participation 
  3. Voter freedom
  4. Stability of government
  5. Literacy rate for men and women

Day 2:

  • Present gathered information to the group.
  • Make comparisons and inferences based on information gathered.
  • Using a large world map, create a display of information to show comparisons.

Evaluation

Evaluation

Evaluation

  • Participation
  • Rubric for product evaluation
  • Student created charts/posters
  • Rubric for product evaluation.
  • Participation
  • Rubric for product evaluation.
  • Participation

Resources

Resources

Resources

http://www.centeroncongress.org (

  • E-Learning Modules)
  • Reference materials
  • “Brainstorming” Activity Sheet (p 1)
  • “Am I missing Something?” Activity Sheet (p 2)
  • “Levels of Government” Activity Sheet (p 3)
  • Guest Speakers
  • “Interview Questions” Activity Sheet (p 4-5)
  • “Reflecting on Learning” Essay Planner(p 6)
  • Rubric for effort and product evaluation
  • RDA videos developed by Center for Civic Education
  • E-learning modules from Center on Congress Website.
  • “Citizen Brain”
  • “Your Vote Counts” NCSL
  • “Comparing Countries and Voter Participation” Activity Sheet (p 7)

 

Activities

Activity #4

Activity #5

  • Simulate a community election. 
  • Option: Multi-class activity
  • Conduct a school-wide mock election to include voter registration; presentation of issues, candidates, and platforms; election-day activities, and reports of mock election results. 
  • Survey of students to determine effect of the activity on family election participation.

Suggested timeframe:

  • 5 Class Periods

Suggested timeframe:

  • Extended Activity

Objectives:

Objectives:

  • The student will simulate participation in the political process for a community election. 
  • In an effort to increase voter participation from parents of students in the school, the students will plan and coordinate a school-wide mock election in conjunction with a scheduled local, state, or national election.

Procedure:

Procedure:

 Day 1:
  • Introduce the activity by telling the students they are part of a community that would like to be incorporated into a town. As a group they must propose a name, determine the boundaries and the form of government, petition the State Legislature for a Charter, and get signatures of over half the residents of the “town”. 
  • If the Charter is approved, interested citizens must declare their intent to run for office in the upcoming election for city officials. 
  • Discuss importance of being a registered voter and for having responsible people who are willing to run for office. Announce that the deadline for registering to vote is within a given period of time. Provide a location in the classroom where students can register if they choose. 
  • Students discuss the ways they can become involved as citizens. Students individually complete the “Participatory Citizenship” activity sheet.
  • Announce that individuals who would like to run for office must visit the website for the Secretary of State and follow the outlined procedure to qualify. (The teacher will serve as the City Clerk or specified authority to whom forms must be submitted.)
  • Suggest that candidates for office form a campaign committee to assist them in planning their campaign.
  • Campaign committees meet to assist in developing a platform to support, creating campaign posters, buttons, speeches, etc.
  • Teacher set a day and time for political rally.
  • Day 2/3:
  • Campaign committees meet to work on plans and activities.
  • Students not a part of a specific campaign committee should become members of the election commission/poll workers and work on preparations for the election: polling location, “I voted” stickers, ballots, registered voter lists and cards, ballot boxes, research for election day campaigning limitations, etc.
Day 4: 
  • Organize and conduct the political event/rally for campaigning and speeches.
  • Students who are registered to vote will be given their voter registration cards in preparation for the election.
  • Discuss Election Day limitations for campaigning within close proximity of the voting location. 
Day 5:
  • Conduct election and count votes.
  • Report results of the election. 
  • Close the day with concession and winner statements
  • Conduct a discussion of how the simulation portrayed representative democracy, the processes followed, and lessons learned.
  • Teacher announce plans for extension of the lesson to include future meetings of the city council at which citizens will make requests of their elected officials and votes will be taken. 
  • Students reflect on the simulation and evaluate individual participation in an essay. 

Planning of Lesson at the Discretion of the teacher:

  • Introduce the activity several months prior to the scheduled election. Guide students in identifying the major goal for the activity: to increase voter turnout in parents of the students.
  • Develop a survey to determine the current level of voter participation.
  • Interview the local circuit clerk to gain a better understanding of election procedures.
  • Students compile lists and develop a timeline of tasks to complete.
  • As a group, establish criteria for a rubric by which individual and group participation will be evaluated.
  • Form student teams through application process:
  1. Election Commission
  2. Poll Workers
  3. Candidates and Campaigning
  4. Issues
  5. Voter Registration & Registration Cards
  6. Hall Displays and Announcements
  7. Ballots, Ballot Boxes
  • Work with each team to identify tasks to be completed with deadlines.
  • Establish a location in the school for voter registration, the display of information on the candidates, sample ballots, and information on referendums that might be included in the election.
  • Notify teachers and students of upcoming election. Announce voter registration and deadlines. Set up location and times.
  • Conduct an assembly to present the candidates and issues.
  • Deliver voter registration cards to classes prior to the election. With permission of the classroom teachers, have students meet with classes to go review sample ballots and voting procedures.
  • Set up the election with poll workers and oversight by the election commission. 
  • Close polls at pre-determined time to allow time to tally votes. 
  • Make announcement of results of the mock election prior to the end of school. 
  • Develop a survey for student voters to determine if school activities were shared at home and the level of parental participation in the election.
  • After the election, students evaluate individual and group participation using student-developed rubric. (See Democracy Kids Survey Questions for ideas.

Evaluation

Evaluation

  • Rubrics
  • Participation
  • Student generated rubric for evaluation individual and group participation.
  • Peer & Self Evaluation

Resources

Resources

  • “Application to Incorporate” Activity Sheet (p 8)
  • Participatory Citizenship” Activity Sheet (p 9)
  • “Declaration of Candidacy” Activity Sheet (p 10)
  • “Planning a Campaign” Activity Sheet (p 11)
  • Voter Registration Form
  • Voter Registration Card
  • “Reflecting on Learning” Activity Sheet (p 6)
  • Rubric for product evaluation. (Rubric Bank)
  • Mock Election Planning Guide for setting goals and objectives, research notes, team planning, etc. (p 12-18)
  • Student generated rubric (Rubric Bank)
  • Guest Speaker/s
  • Student generated Survey Planner
  • Also see the following website for a sample survey:

 

Developed by Carol Western Paola, Mississippi Project Citizen Co-Coordinator, for Representative Democracy in America: Voices of the People, a national project sponsored by the Alliance for Representative Democracy, a partnership of the Center for Civic Education, the Center on Congress at Indiana University and the National Conference of State Legislatures' Trust for Representative Democracy. 

Additional Resources

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Lesson Worksheets | PDFs

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