The Election Lesson Plan: Your Rights as a Citizen

Submitted by: Stacy Pluto

Grade Levels: 3-5

In this lesson plan, which is adaptable for grades 3-5, students use BrainPOP resources to explore their rights as citizens. Students will explain what a democracy is and its advantages and disadvantages, and make inferences about what America would be like without democracy. Students then demonstrate their understanding of the voting process, political parties, and candidates through the creation of wikis.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Identify their rights as citizens.
  2. Explain what a democracy is and its advantages and disadvantages.
  3. Make inferences about what America would be like without democracy and demonstrate understanding of the voting process, political parties and candidates.

Materials:

  • A supply of computers where students are divided into groups of 3-4
  • Class Wiki
  • Class Blog

Vocabulary:

democracy; political parties; candidates; presidential ticket; ballot; caucus; legislative branch; judicial branch; executive branch; nominee; election; vote; Democrat; Republican

Preparation:

Create a blog using a free blog site such as Blogger.com where students will share their final thoughts regarding the election. Also, create a free wiki using a site such as wikispaces.com, where students can collaborate and share ideas for the brainstorming process. You can see examples by visiting our Class Wiki and Class Blog.

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Students will be divided into 5 groups: branches of government, democracy, presidential election, political parties, and voting. Each group will use the BrainPOP movie that correlates to watch and take notes. Each group will then combine notes and type them into the wiki for their group.
  2. Students will take turns sharing their wikis in their new groups. The goal is to make sure that all students have learned the information for all 5 content areas when finished sharing the wikis.
  3. Students will then be redistributed into new groups so that there is 1 representative from each of the wiki groups present.
  4. Finally, each student will answer the following question on the blog to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding: "What is Democracy? Is it important? Why?" Student will need to explain their answers using as much new knowledge as possible.

Extension Activity:

If time allows, invite students to watch the other related BrainPOP movies and explore the features that go along with them. As a class, take the POP Quiz for each movie to assess what students have learned from one another. Or, have each group give the quiz from their movie to the rest of the class and grade them, to assess how much their peers learned when they were the teachers!
  • sliblich

    this is so helpful for me as a librarian teaching social studies in the library…thank you so much for the lesson and the ccss. sarah