To Vote or Not to Vote? That Is the Question!

Grades: 
3, 4, 5

Students learn about three amendments to the Constitution that extended voting rights to more citizens. They will discuss the importance of expressing opinions through voting and try to make a difference by reminding adults to vote with their colorful posters. Students will accompany an adult to the polls to view the process in action and reflect on the process.

Lesson Rating 
0
Duration 
PrintOne Thirty-Minute Class Period
Objectives 

The learner will:

  • describe how voting rights were extended with the addition of three amendments to the Constitution.
  • analyze the importance voting plays in a healthy democracy.
  • encourage voter participation.
Materials 
  • Student copies of handout: Voting Amendments to the Constitution (Spanish version available)
  • Tagboard (12” x 18”) for each student
  • Magic markers
  • Student copies of handout: Unit Quiz (Spanish version available)

Instructions

Print
  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Students will take an opinion vote to duplicate an election. They will vote on whether they think school hours should be 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. with no recess, or 8:10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with a recess. students cast their votes in ballot boxes marked with the times. Volunteer students collect, tabulate, and announce the results to class.

  2. Discuss the voting procedure and what the results indicate.

  3. Distribute Voting Amendments to the Constitution (handout), read the three amendments that deal with voting and discuss their meanings.

  4. Analyze the importance of the right to vote, its connection and importance in supporting the principles of the Constitution, and developing a healthy democracy.

  5. Review the definition of philanthropy and brainstorm ways students might support the Constitution by encouraging their parents, family, and community to exercise their right to vote. One idea is that they create posters, which will remind citizens of the voting date, voting location, and importance of casting their vote.

  6. Working individually or in teams, have students create colorful, attention-drawing, but clear, posters. When completed, share their posters by displaying them in the room or school.

  7. With adult supervision, students distribute posters throughout the community in key locations.

  8. Ask a representative of the local or county government to speak to the class about the voting process.

  9. Children display mastery of key philanthropic concepts and voting knowledge through a Unit Quiz.

Assessment 

Students’ reflections on the voting process may be used as an assessment. Students will take a short quiz on basic voting and philanthropic concepts.

Cross Curriculum 

Students will create colorful posters that will encourage citizens in their community to “get out” and vote. They will then distribute them in key locations where they will be visible to potential voters.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.1 Define philanthropy as the giving and sharing of time, talent, or treasure intended for the common good.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 05. Philanthropy and Government
      1. Benchmark E.14 Describe the roles of citizens in government.
  3. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.5 Give examples of actions students can take to improve the common good and list or describe responsibilities that go with those actions.
  4. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 01. Needs Assessment
      1. Benchmark E.1 Identify a need in the school, local community, state, nation, or world.
    2. Standard VS 02. Service and Learning
      1. Benchmark E.1 Select a service project based on interests, abilities, and research.
    3. Standard VS 03. Providing Service
      1. Benchmark E.1 Provide a needed service.