Thursday, January 31, 2008

Civics Lesson

Back in 2000, when Patrick was 13, he was becoming much more sophisticated in his interests. Sure, he had moments where he watched Power Rangers, but he was also watching ER and the news.

So, just before the election, the usual OMG IGNORANT VOTERS hysteria was going on (which, yeah, is a big deal, but of course the media was very sensationalistic about it.

One of the things they did was take random people and show them pictures of then-President Clinton, Al Gore, and George W. Bush. Naturally, it was edited to show people in the worst possible light, but even so, the amount of ignorance -- some people not only couldn't name Gore or Bush, many couldn't point out our current, sitting president, who had been in the news quite a bit for the type of senationalistic things that even non-political people are interested in.

In other words, I thought sex was supposed to sell?

Anyway, Patrick happened to be watching the news when they were doing that, and he named everybody. He could even say who was president and who wanted to be president.

So I've been watching the current elections, trying to figure out a way to involve my kiddos. I think I've mentioned before that we often find places on our classroom map, with the ultimate goal of everyone but Elastigirl being able to find America on a map, and with Elastigirl being able to find the map.

Then, tonight, when I'm supposed to be making homework, it hits me -- I have a bare cabinet just waiting for a long, narrow chart. The kind of chart that would involve three columns: state, Democratic winner, and Republican winner.

Like this:

Then, I made a book that the kids will put together containing the same information. We'll add to it as the primaries progress.

My ultimate goal for this is to expose the kids to the concept of "voting," to get them to at least recognize a couple of the candidates, and, in Elastigirl's case, to at least identify the "girl" and the "boy."


Amie said...

That's a great idea!

Audrey said...

What a great post. My teen is constantly talking to me about the elections going on now. She is very up to date on who is campaigning where, who dropped out etc. It makes me proud.

Audrey :)