Meet the Candidates

Anyone old enough to talk is old enough to start voicing their opinions on the important issues that affect this world we all share. This project is for any age and any amount of people, but depending on the participants there are different ways to set it up. The concept is to learn about issue(s) and be able to form and express a stance. This lesson encompasses research, speaking, debate, social and political awareness, and more.

The Political Process:

  • Depending on number and ages of participants, you can utilize different formats: interview a candidate; hold a debate between candidates (you can act as one or as a moderator with 2 or more kids); pair kids up as running mates (good when there is a mixture of ages); have both candidates and audience in a “town hall” setting.
  • Pick how many topics to research as their “platform”. Again, this is variable. You could explore one topic in depth, or pick several. Three is a good number; candidates can have the same, different, or a mix. I’d recommend at least one in common for debate purposes.
  • Decide on the level of topic(s). Do you want to delve into issues on a local, national, or international level? Maybe one of each?
  • Research – for an hour, a day, a week. However deep you wish to take it!
  • Optional extras – get creative by assigning real political parties or coming up with your own, Design buttons, banners, posters. Record commercials. Make ballots. Go wild!
  • Let the candidates present their platforms within whatever framework(s) – interviews, speeches, debates, Q&A.
  • If desired, hold an election.
  • Was this a hit? Use it to go back in time and examine important issues in history.

This has so many possibilities, depending on whether you want to do a morning project or month-long immersion. You can broaden their knowledge of so many things – not just issues at hand, but how government works and how to present opinions in a convincing way.

You can keep this theme going by studying your relevant politicians and/or important activists. If it is feasible where you live, touring government offices or attending a town meeting would make for great field trips. Another way to round out the experience is crafting a letter to your local representative in regards to an issue they really latched onto.


Books to consider:

Author:

Who am I? Foremost, the lucky momma of an amazing boy. To be perfectly honest, I am less his teacher than he is my inspiration - I have learned at least as much from him in the last seven years as he has from me. I am an old-timer at heart; I'd rather live on a farm, garden, crochet, and raise my kid out in the sun than anything else. I'm a bit of a technological dinosaur, more geared toward life where you can get your hands dirty and have some fun exploring, learning, and growing. I'm a homeschooled, homeschooling single parent with a passion for my son, nature, and the simple life. I am not here to pretend I know it all or lay out the research or provide a step-by-step game plan. I hope to encourage and inspire families to join in the journey of learning together - and have the fun that life is supposed to be made of along the way. Happy exploring!

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