This election season we need to be teaching our children how the process works. We can watch coverage, we can discuss our thoughts as a family, but we also need to ensure that our children have the basic understanding of how government elections work. School Library Journal compiled a listing of resources for teachers and parents to use with kids.
There are two videos for kids in grades 5 and up. The first is “5 Things to Tell Your Kids About the Election”. This video highlights the need for investigation and not taking things at face value.
The 2nd video is a TED Talk video called, “Does Your Vote Count? The Electoral College Explained” with Christina Greer. Kids can learn how the Electoral College works in a simply explained and a bit strangely animated way.
The next category of resources they highlighted was Websites!
The first one is for us grown-ups: PBS Election Central Classroom Resources.
Most of the lessons are for middle and high school classrooms, but there are resources for elementary students as well. It is a nice place to find gathered information from a reputable source instead of hunting for it.
There was one website listed for grades 7 and up, it is one we having been hearing about all over; Fact Check.
It is a great place to find unbiased information about what the candidates are saying.
Getting to our elementary students here is one for grades 4 and up: Time for Kids-Elections.
Time as in Time Magazine, the reputable source for information. Complete with teacher resources and age/level appropriate content, this is one site I would recommend.
Next up is one for grades K and up featuring someone we all should recognize; Ben Franklin in Ben’s Guide for Kids-Elections.
This site is administered by the government and features levels for kids ages 4-8, 9-13, and 14 and up. The site does not cover the current election, but it does have useful information and games to play.
Next up: APPS. Free APPS!
Both of these are for grades 7 and up, in other words; adult apps that teens can use.
Up first 2016 Election App, covering the latest news in a nonpartisan format. It has a four star rating on iTunes, it is also available for Android.
Next is the White House Mobile App, “The Official White House app brings you the latest from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, including news from the White House blog and press briefing room, photo and video archives, and live streams of events around the country with President Barack Obama and administration officials.”
Available for Apple and Android.
Last but not least, Twitter Feeds:
An aggregate of live feeds from politicians and other talking heads.
A mix of political information and general facts for educators and parents to use as lesson- or discussion-starters.
The most important information we can pass on to the next generation is that their vote matters.