Political Candidates Lesson Plan for Grades K-3

Lesson 9: Know Your Candidates

Student Expectations:

  • Students will explain why voters need to learn about the candidates in an election.
  • Students will practice researching facts about candidates in a simulated election.

Vocabulary and Definitions:

nutrition: the act or process of nourishing or being nourished

vitamin: an organic substance that is essential in small quantities to normal metabolism

mineral: a substance occurring in nature, usually comprising inorganic substances

benefit: something that is advantageous or good

calorie: a quantity of food capable of producing energy

carbohydrate: an organic compound that appears in food and living tissue, including sugar, starch, and cellulose

dietary fiber: the part of a plant that your body can’t digest or absorb

Lesson Plan:

All Grades:

  1. Show the students pictures of the current presidential candidates. Then, pose the following questions for discussion:
    1. Do you know who these people are? (If necessary, tell the students who they are.)
    2. What office are these candidates running for?
    3. What do you know about these candidates?
    4. Can you tell which person would make a better president by simply looking at their pictures? Why or why not?
    5. What can people do to make sure that they vote for someone who will be a good president?
  2. Ask the students to brainstorm ways that voters can learn more about political candidates. (research them on the internet, watch debates, watch their advertisements, read their campaign materials, listen to their speeches and interviews, etc.)
  3. Explain to the students that they are going to practice comparing information about political candidates and vote according to what they learn.
  4. Write “Apples” and “Oranges” on the board. Clarify that the students will be comparing facts about apples and oranges, then voting on which fruit they think is healthier.
  5. Give each student a copy of the “Apple and Orange Facts” chart.
  6. Read through the facts with the students. As you read, explain the facts as necessary. For example, clarify that a calorie is a measurement of the energy that food provides for the body.
  7. Divide the class into pairs. Have the students compare the information about the two fruits and discuss which is healthier.
  8. After the pairs have had some time to discuss, bring the class back together. Explain to the students that they will now vote for the healthiest fruit using the information that they learned.
  9. Have the students get out their voter registration forms and form a line in front of you.
  10. Check the students’ registration forms one at a time. Then, give each student a ballot with the two options listed. Instruct the students to put their ballots in the ballot box when they are done voting.
  11. When all of the students have submitted their votes, count them and share the results with the students.
  12. Pose the following question for discussion:
    1. Does the result of this vote mean that the other fruit candidate is not healthy? Why or why not?
  13. Explain that in a republic like America, the person who gets the most votes wins the election, but that doesn’t mean everyone agrees that the winner was the best candidate. In our country, many good and qualified people run for office. When we vote, we have to accept the winner even if they were not our choice. That is why there are regular elections: so that different candidates with different ideas can run again or for the first time.
  14. NOTE: This is the perfect time to take students to the Every Kid Votes Live Voting Site. Students can participate in a live simulation to vote for various food items. The simulation shows them how we vote, how results are tabulated, and the data by classroom. https://www.everykidvotes.org/

Weekly Assessment:

The weekly assessment is included in the lesson.

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