If you held a mock election with your class this year, please do me a favor and promise me you'll hold a class election next year too. Teaching about voting and the election process is not a lesson we teach once every four years. Instead, we should use this lesson as a catalyst for further civic growth. Our approach to civic education should be multifaceted, and I want to share several tips for what to do next.
Teach the history of voting from different voices and perspectives
If you held a mock election, but haven't yet discussed the history of voting rights in America, I urge you to take time to teach the history behind voting in our country. Our students need to understand different experiences and perspectives when it comes to our nation's history. For example, when discussing the women's suffrage movement, does your textbook or lesson only focus on white women suffragists? If so, ask yourself "who's voice is missing?" We should be sure that we are providing our students with an accurate account of history that includes many different voices and experiences. Picture books can be a helpful way to do this with our elementary students. Picture books are great for big kids too. Check out this list of 12 pictures books that are helpful when teaching about elections and the history of voting.