Today on Election Day

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1 ISBN $16.99 Albert Whitman & Cmpany Tday n Electin Day By Catherine Stier Illustrated by David Lenard Electin day is a busy day! A classrm f future vters watches peple streaming t the plling place at their schl. Everyne is excited t cast their ballts fr natinal, state, and lcal electins! Tday, David s big brther Jake vtes fr the first time, while Aiden s grandpa prudly affixes anther I vted sticker t his jacket. This year it s especially exciting because Bailey s Aunt Julia is running fr City Cuncil! Basic facts abut the electin prcess are charmingly explained in this very accessible picture bk. Children will gain new insight int the plitical prcess as they experience this all-imprtant day in a vibrant demcracy thrugh the eyes f their fellw future vters.... A. S. U e h t n i y a D n i t nt tur f Elec a y u b udly r p ld, unite. K i r k u s R e v i e w s r w e A h t f s r e vte Futur

2 BEFORE READING There are many ffices and psitins t which peple may be elected. Brainstrm a list f them with yur class, starting with yur schl. D students run fr student cuncil r special cmmittees? Think bigger. What psitins are peple elected t in yur city? In yur state? What psitins are peple elected t at the natinal level? Make a class chart shwing psitins candidates can run fr at the schl, city, state, and natinal levels. AFTER READING Future Vters f America! Accrding t the U.S. Cnstitutin, citizens must be eighteen years ld t vte. Have yur students calculate what year it will be when they turn eighteen. Will the year they turn eighteen be a presidential electin year? If nt, hw ld will each student be when she/he can first vte fr the President f the United States? What Gets Yur Vte? Divide yur class int grups f fur- t five-students. Have each grup discuss qualities they wuld lk fr in a candidate, such as leadership experience r cncern fr the envirnment. Next, have the grups rank the candidate s preferred qualities frm the mst t the least imprtant. Cme back tgether as a whle class and discuss each grup s list f desirable qualities in a candidate. Why is each imprtant? Wrk tgether as a class t generate ne list f preferred qualities fr a candidate drawing frm each grup s list. Did any grups change their mind nce they heard the arguments fr the chices frm ther grups? Party Plitics Candidates running fr ffice usually cme frm ne f the tw majr plitical parties in the United States the Republican party r the Demcratic party. Each party has a symbl t represent it. An elephant represents the Republicans and a dnkey is the symbl fr the Demcrats. With a grup f yur classmates, use the Party Plitics wrksheet (guide page 4) t create yur wn plitical party. What issues are imprtant t yu? What changes wuld yu make? What s the name and symbl fr yur new plitical party? Take a Stand Label the fur crners f the classrm with signs that say: strngly agree, agree, strngly disagree, and disagree. Next, have each student write an pinin statement abut smething that she/he feels is imprtant r shuld be changed at schl. Fr example, a student culd write I think that flag ftball shuld be allwed at lunch recess r Students shuld nly eat healthy fd at snack recess. Read each statement alud t the class. After the statement is read, tell the students t take a stand and mve t the crner that represents hw they feel abut the pinin statement. Have a representative frm each crner share why he/she selected the crner t represent his/her pinin. Repeat with the ther statements and cntinue t discuss the results. Extra! Extra! Read All abut It! One f the ways that vters find ut infrmatin abut the candidates and their ideas is thrugh newspapers and magazines. G n a scavenger hunt thrugh a newspaper t find examples f news articles, phtgraphs, editrials, and editrial cartns abut the different candidates running fr ffice. Make a scrapbk f yur findings and include a descriptin abut the main pints f infrmatin that yu discvered abut each candidate thrugh the newspaper. 2

3 Electin Vcabulary Cllabrate t make a class dictinary f electin terms. Divide the class int pairs and assign each pair a term frm the list belw. Each pair shuld write a definitin f their term and create an illustratin t accmpany it. Display the pages n an Electin Vcabulary wall r bulletin bard. Have students d the Electin Vcabulary Wrd Search (guide page 5). Terms: Ballt Ballt bx Candidate Campaign Cngress Debate Demcracy Frnt runner Gvernr Landslide Nminee Plitical party Plling place President Representative Senatr Vting Rights Thugh ur system f gvernment is a demcracy where the peple elect their leaders, in ur cuntry s histry, nt everyne has always had an equal chance t vte. Why d yu think that all peple were nt allwed t vte frm the earliest days f ur cuntry? Many grups had t fight fr their right t determine their leaders. The Fifteenth Amendment t the U.S. Cnstitutin, adpted in 1870 after the Civil War, guaranteed that Americans f any race culd vte. The Nineteenth Amendment in 1920 gave wmen the right t vte. D yu think that the vting laws f tday are fair? If nt, what wuld yu change? Write a persuasive paragraph detailing why yu think a particular vting law r eligibility requirement (such as a legal vting age f 18) shuld be changed r why it s imprtant fr every American t exercise his/her right t vte. And the Winner Is... Cnduct a tasty class electin t determine the favrite flavr f ice cream in yur classrm. Have each student cmplete a vter registratin card (guide page 6) t be presented at the classrm s plling place. The plling place shuld have a master list f students names with a line alngside each s vters can sign in when they shw their registratin cards. After checking in, each child is given a ballt (guide page 6) and shwn t a vting bth (a table set up with upended flders fr privacy). After vting, students place their ballts in a shebx ballt bx and receive an I Vted sticker made frm flder labels. Electin fficials then tally the vtes. The class can celebrate electin night with an ice cream party featuring the winning flavr! Catherine Stier has wrked as a prfessinal writer fr mre than fifteen years. Her articles and stries have appeared in magazines and newspapers natinwide, including Wman s Day, Wman s Wrld, Chicag Parent, Highlights fr Children, and the San Antni Express-News. She s written tw ther ppular picture bks fr children n the plitical prcess, If I Ran fr President and If I Were President, as well as the bks Bugs in My Hair?! and The Terrible Secrets f the Tell-All Club. Catherine Stier lives with her family in Suthwest Texas. Learn mre abut her bks and her dynamic authr visit prgrams at David Lenard has illustrated many bks fr children, including Hw t Clean Yur Rm and Daddy s Hme! He lives in New Jersey with his wife and twin daughters. Visit his website, fr mre infrmatin abut his wrk. The activities in this curriculum guide were created by Leigh Curtney, PhD. She teaches first and secnd grade in the Glbal Educatin prgram at a public elementary schl in San Dieg, Califrnia. She hlds bth master s and dctral degrees in educatin, with an emphasis n curriculum and instructin. 3

4 NAME Party Plitics Wrksheet With a grup f yur classmates, create a new plitical party that espuses the ideas and principles mst imprtant t yur grup. Name f party Symbl t represent the party Ideas that are imprtant t the new party: Changes that the new party might like t make: 4

5 NAME Electin Vcabulary Wrd Search P G J C Q D T S K B D V O Y F Q O M Y B C I O A C T Z T E R X V L U C C O L L N D R D D O E E G L D A L N E L A T N I N T R G G I O R D G P A O I L T A N V J T N I C L R M B E S R B O D B H S G A O I E R F D U E R O G E H C P N M Z S X N N D X Y R K I L E L H E J S A N J X P A T J E C W A C D J L E N K I I Q H S R Q F C M G V R F W L C A M P A I G N E B Q M K O E T A D I D N A C M L X Q P R E P R E S E N T A T I V E R R O T A N E S L O G K W T K BALLOT BALLOT BOX CAMPAIGN CANDIDATE CONGRESS DEBATE DEMOCRACY FRONT RUNNER GOVERNOR LANDSLIDE NOMINEE POLITICAL PARTY POLLING PLACE PRESIDENT REPRESENTATIVE SENATOR 5

6 Vter Registratin Card Name Schl Age Grade Rm number Signature BA LLOT Mark an X next t the flavr f ice cream that yu like best. Only ne bx may be marked. Chclate Chclate Chip Ckie Dugh Strawberry Vanilla 6

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