With the inauguration of President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris just days away, you might be looking for some kid-friendly ways to discuss the road to the White House. I want to share with you several activities that will help your students better understand the election process, the significance of the U.S. Capitol and White House, and the many different jobs of the U.S. president.
The Election Process
First of all, if you haven't discussed the election process, I urge you to consider starting here. It is important that our students understand democratic processes and procedures, and our students are not too young to begin to understand the election process and voting. One of the best ways to do this is through an in-class voting simulation. You can learn more about this step on the road to the White House in this blog post.
Inauguration Day at the U.S. Capitol
The inauguration marks the commencement of the four-year term of the next president. This public ceremony takes place on the West Front of the United States Capitol Building. This is where the oath of office is taken for both the president and vice president of the United States. While this is an important ceremony, it is also critical that our students understand the significance of the U.S. Capitol Building. This building is the symbol of our nation's government and Congress. This is where the House of Representatives and the Senate come together to discuss, debate, and craft the nation's laws.
To help our students better understand what takes place at the U.S. Capitol on a regular basis, and to understand the history of this building, consider taking your students on an interactive virtual field trip. This trip incorporates critical thinking questions, and gives students a more in-depth look our nation's Capitol.
The White House
The president and the first family reside at the White House. Not only is this the home of the president, but the White House includes the offices of the president and staff. The president holds ceremonies, greets guests, and makes important decisions at this building. Take your students on a virtual tour of the White House to learn more about the history of the building, as well as its design and purpose.
The Role of the U.S. President
The president has several jobs and titles while in office. The president cannot do their job alone. It is important our students understand the role the president plays in our nation.
The president has 7 main jobs:
Chief of State
Commander in Chief
Chief of Party
Chief Guardian of the Economy
This resource will help you break down the 7 roles of the U.S. president in age-appropriate terms. I like to have my students brainstorm what they would accomplish if they were president, and craft three agenda items that are important to them. This resource includes a fill in the blank student booklet that corresponds with slides.