Kids may or may not have noticed all of the presidential election fuss happening around them. As we head toward another presidential election in November, the topic of presidents and what they do may come up, including how leaders are selected in other countries. Send home messages to multilingual families for information to share about their experiences. This is a great way to celebrate where students come from together while learning.
After taking some time to chat about George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and other Presidents of the United States, talk about characteristics that make a good leader. What would they want to make sure the next President of the United States focuses on. If they could pick any imaginary character from a book, who would be their choice to become president? Some questions for the kids to think about as they make the selection:
- Why would this character made a good president?
- How has this character been a leader in a story or book?
- Who would vote for this character?
- What would their slogan be while running for president.
To assist with some of these more abstract concepts, give examples from history. The purpose of this exercise is to work on self confidence when speaking. Many children may be self conscious and hold back why they feel a certain way. In this safe environment, it allows them to have a voice and to practice supporting their opinions.
When finished, give everyone a paper sandwich bag and supplies to make a puppet. They will be making their own presidential candidate. While they are creating them, explain how candidates must introduce themselves to the public to let them know what their views are. They need to come up with a quick commercial message about their character to share at a president campaign party that you will be having. Older students may have more specifics that you would like in it. Talk to classroom teachers to tie in any topics that may work into this part of the activity.
At your next session, record the commercials from each child. These may be uploaded to a secure, password only place for parents and families to watch. Share the link with families when you send home the puppets. Include some talking points about presidents for families to encourage their children to keep chatting about.
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