Voting Rights Lesson Plan: Mock Presidential Election and Voting Rights

Submitted by: Peggy Perkins

Grade Levels: 3-5, K-3

In this multi-day Voting Rights lesson plan, which is adaptable for grades K-5, students use BrainPOP Jr. and/or BrainPOP resources to explore examples of rights and responsibilities and identify why voting is both a responsibility and a right. Students will learn why the U.S. has a president, what his/her jobs are, who can become president, and how they get elected. Students will then demonstrate an understanding of the voting process and its importance by participating in a mock presidential election.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Show examples of rights and responsibilities and identify why voting is both a responsibility and a right
  2. Explain why the U.S. has a president, what his/her jobs are, who can become president, and how they get elected
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of the voting process and its importance by participating in a mock election for the presidential election

Materials:

  • Pencils
  • Crayons
  • Different coins
  • "I voted" stickers
  • Student computer access
  • Interactive whiteboard
  • Paper
  • Handouts (outlined below)

Vocabulary:

responsibilities; rights; election; vote; citizen; president; veto; policy; law; common

Preparation:

Gain access to the computer lab or other location where interactive whiteboard is. If you do not have access to an interactive whiteboard you may use your computer and a projector or regular board and slighty revise.

Print a copy of the Student Voter Registration Application and Voter Registration Card for each student (available in the download section below.) Make a ballot for students to use in the mock election and set up a voter's booth where students may vote.

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Part 1 - Rights and Responsibilities Movie: Discuss and find out what students know about citizens, rights, and responsibilities. Use BrainPOP Jr.'s Word Wall, taking turns flipping the words over to definitions and vice versa.
  2. Watch the Rights and Responsibilities Movie and pause throughout to discuss.
  3. Take the quiz together as a class (Easy Quiz for grades K-2 or the Hard Quiz for grades 3 and 4.) Project the Draw About It activity. Have students take turns drawing a responsibility on the interactive board while the rest of the class does the same at their desk with pencil and paper or individual dry erase boards.
  4. Repeat the word wall activity if necessary for review.
  5. Project the Draw About It activity. Have students take turns drawing a responsibility on the interactive board while the rest of the class does the same at their desk with pencil and paper or individual dry erase boards.
  6. Have students complete the Activity individually or in pairs. Print the quilts and have students cut their squares out and tie them together.
  7. Part 2 - President Movie: Read "My Teacher for President" by Kay Winters to the class. Discuss what makes a good president, who can become president, and why we have a president. How does someone get to be president? Accept all responses and discuss the book in detail. Would your teacher make a good president? Why or why not?
  8. Use BrainPOP Jr's Word Wall for an interactive vocabulary review before watching the President Movie.
  9. Have each child use one computer to take the Easy Quiz or Hard Quiz. You may wish to have them print out their test results when finished. If you do not have enough computers, then print out the test ahead of time. K-2 students may take the review quiz as a whole group activity.
  10. Play the BrainPOP Jr. Game as a class and have students match the presidents using the interactive board. Take the opportunity to discuss some of the presidents who they are matching.
  11. Have student volunteers complete the Draw About It feature at the interactive whiteboard board while the rest of the class do so at their desks.
  12. Have students do the Write About It feature either on computers (printing it out to turn in) or do a shared writing by typing directly into the computer.
  13. Students may complete the Activity when done. For enrichment, students can complete the activity suggested in the Grown Ups Guide called "Past Presidents."
  14. Part 3 - Voting Movie: Discuss with students what they know about voting.
  15. Read the book "Duck for President" by Doreen Cronin and discuss.
  16. Watch the BrainPOP Voting Movie. Discuss the movie and what the students learned about the voting process. Watch movie again, pausing to discuss as needed.
  17. Relate how all 3 movies students have watched tie in together with the election process.
  18. Hand each student a Student Voter's Registration form to be signed. You may want to have student names filled out ahead of time, so all students have to do it sign their name.
  19. On the Mock Election Day, have students show their voter cards and vote in Mock Election. Pass out "I voted" stickers.
  20. Have students graph their school's results and place a display in cafeteria for other classes to see.
  21. Tape the results of the real election or use internet site to show final results after the election is held.

Extension Activity:

DOWNLOADABLE RESOURCES
Student_Voter_Registration.doc
Voter_Registration_Card.doc