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Dear Dr. Cherrye,

We can use mid-term elections as teachable moments! As our children reach the age of accountability whether we are parents, or teachers how can we use this special season to help children zero-in on the importance of growing up as productive citizens in our society?

~ A critical teachable moment! ~

Dear A critical teachable moment,

Parents and teachers should be on the forefront of using this very important moment in our democracy (mid-term elections) teaching our children first the history of voting and voting rights, and then the importance of using their voices as a platform to expand further engagement, research and conversations.

What Teachers/Educators Can Do

  • Prepare mock elections on school campuses
  • Get students excited about mock elections
  • Prepare thematic lessons centered around the elections
  • Decorate the mock election area depicting the feeling and visibility of voting
  • Encourage students to do research about each candidate
  • Encourage students to keep an open mind about each candidate
  • Have students write essays about current events (Descriptive, Analytical, Rhetorical, Critical/Evaluative and Reflective)
  • Have students discuss each candidate and why their candidate of choice is best
  • Encourage healthy discussions and effective discourse
  • Encourage healthy debates
  • Encourage respect for each student’s candidate of choice
  • Have students study vocabulary words centered around politics and elections. 
  • Encourage literacy of democracy
  • Talk about the branches of government

What Parents Can Do

  • Talk to children about politics
  • Talk to children about their civic duty and the importance of participating in elections.
  • Talk to children about democracy and what democracy means
  • Encourage children to watch the news and learn about current events
  • Have children learn about each candidate’s philosophy
  • Encourage children to learn how each candidate could impact their lives personally (health, finances, safety, school reform)
  • Spend time with children watching the news and sharing their thoughts/feelings about what they see and hear on the news
  • Talk to children about respecting and acknowledging their peers choices
  • Talk to children about the voting age 
  • Share with students what the voter registration application form looks like and what is required

Tip for Parents and Teachers

Parents and teachers should be careful to hold their tongues if the child does not agree with their choice. By doing so, adults are teaching choice and freedom for children to use their own minds/voices. This teaches respect, freedom and problem solving.

Students should be given the opportunity to share their thoughts, and allowed to make their own decisions based on informed decisions and their own research without feeling guilty or persuaded by others (parents, teachers, peers).

Resources

I’d like to offer a few resources to both teachers and parents to support this important, teachable moment in our democracy.

  1. The Newbery & Caldecott Mock Election Kit: Choosing Champions in Children’s Books
  2. American Elections & Voting Activities Book
  3. I Voted Stickers/500 Election Voting Stickers
  4. Everything You Need to Know about The US Voting System – Government Books for Kids | Children’s Government Books
  5. Who Can Vote? (Why Voting Matters)
  6. Women’s My Vote My Voice T-Shirt – Voting is my super power
  7. Voting T-Shirt Kids Vote Future Voter Rainbow Tee

Important

I’ve made it my mission to assist parents in resolving the bullying issues their children are suffering. Offering your feedback and suggestions in the comment section could facilitate meaningful dialog on this critical issue among ourselves and I encourage this. I will respond to each comment in a timely way. Should you wish to speak privately with me, please email be at CherryeVasquez@gmail.com, and I will reply promptly.

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