It’s pretty unavoidable this time of year to ignore all of the political talk on the TV and radio. We hear so much about what this candidate said or what that candidate did. This election has been like none we’ve had before, as we have some of the two most controversial candidates yet.
When teaching new vocabulary I encourage my students to create something visual through illustrations. When students create visuals for new vocabulary, they create stronger connections to that new word.
With such a highly-broadcasted election season, it is highly unlikely that our students have missed the conversations surrounding this year’s Presidential election.
Although much of the conversation may not be appropriate for our young students, it is important that we begin to introduce some important vocabulary terms related to the election. As students become older, they will start to join these political conversations, and it is our job as teachers to give them a basic understanding of these important terms now.
One easy way to do this is through illustrations. When students create visuals for new vocabulary, they create stronger connections to that new word.
Terms like debate, ballot, campaign, and candidate are all words that our students should be familiar with. One simple way that I help my students familiarize themselves with these words, is by first introducing these words to students through conversation and discussion.
Our discussion begins by presenting the words, and assessing their prior knowledge of the words. We clear up any misconceptions of the word. I then assess their understanding by having them play a quick match-up game.
I provide some students with vocabulary cards and others with definition cards. I instruct students to walk around the room and find their match. I assist and monitor as needed.
Once students have found their partner, I provide each student with an illustration sheet where they record their word, draw an illustration that helps them visualize the word, and then complete a sentence using their word correctly in a sentence. Partners can work on the same sheet together, or each create their own.
The completed illustration sheets make a great classroom display when complete!
Although teachers don’t have a lot of extra time in the classroom to focus on special days such as the election, this short, yet meaningful activity can play a big role in your students’ understanding of the Presidential election.