Yesterday, in hopes that it would draw my sixth grade students’ attention to the first presidential debate, we did some work around thinking about the elections. Our school will be doing a Mock Election for the first time (ever?) and I am determined to provide my students with enough information to not only make a good choice but also to filter out the influence of parents, teachers and others (yeah — this is going to be tough).
I started out the lesson with this great video from Common Craft and we talked about the complicated voting system in this country and why that is important (and the day before, we chatted about the balance of power among the branches of government).
Then, I had them brainstorm issues that they consider important and hope to be addressed in the campaign. Our list included:
- Global Warming
- Protecting Animal Habitats
- The War in Iraq
- Fuel Prices
- Offshore Drilling
- Health Care
- The Economy
Next, my students did some stick figure drawing for a comic strip in which they, as a comic character, ask a question of the candidates. We then moved onto the computers and headed off to Make Beliefs Comics, which is an easy and isolated comic strip making site. They loved it! The comic site is limited in scope, but you can email the link to the comic and I intended to take all of the comics and use Google Sites to create a little website of their comics.
Here is my example:
BUT — the Make Beliefs site has something strange going on with scripts (I emailed the creator, Bill, and he is working on it — he is very responsive). So my web idea will have to wait and I hope they get it all resolved out very soon.
Peace (in the election campaign),