November 4th is Election Day and with the Democratic National Convention beginning this week and Republican National Convention not far behind, I thought I would compile a list of the best election themed sites as this week’s Websites of the Week.
My selections educate about democracy and elections through animated movies or factual text, provide links to age appropriate crafts and activities for the preschool and toddler set, and current election coverage for your budding politician. Here are my top picks:
Ben’s Guide to U.S. Government for Kids provides content according to grade range (K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12). Topics for grades K-2 include symbols of US Government, an explanation of why we need a government that young children will understand, and Ben’s ABCs that includes an aspect of government for every letter. 3-5th graders can learn about numerous topics including historical documents, branches of government, how laws are made, the difference between national and state government. Content for grades middle school and high school are the same but the interactive games for grades 6-8 and 9-12 differs. Fabulous age appropriate content that is differentiated for each age group makes this site good for all ages.
BrainPop’s educational animated movies that are designed to teach children about government and elections are fabulous. Join Moby and Tim to learn about topics like branches of government, democracy, modern political parties, political party origins, presidential election, presidential power, primaries & caucauses, voting, and so many more! BrainPop is great for older elementary ages through high school.
CyberBee’s Election 2008 has activities for elementary students including a list of reading links, scavenger hunt, audio clips, coloring pages, and crafts like how to make a campaign button. This site is best for elementary aged students.
Enchanted Learning is a teacher favorite in the school district where I work. They have an amazing collection of election worksheets including word searches and glossaries and also printable books on topics like electing the US President. The content is great for fluent elementary readers and beyond. Enchanted Learning is free but if you choose to subscribe for $20 a year, you will have access to their ad-free version with printer friendly pages. I highly recommend purchasing a subscription if you have older children that will be browsing the site on their own or for ad-free worksheets.
If your child wants to know exactly how the president gets elected, check out FactMonster’s step-by-step guide to How the President Gets Elected. This site is best for middle or high schoolers and as a parent resource.
Scholastic reminds us that the presidential election is only 72 days away! Their site provides a very comprehensive guide to everything you need to know about how America elects its presidents and includes the Scholastic Word Wizard who is ready to look up any word on the web page. The Scholastic site is interactive and fun. They have a game called You’re the Candidate where up to two players get to make a run for the Oval Office by creating a candidate, devising a strategy, and choosing which states to campaign in the most. I personally love that Scholastic has dispatched a team of 5 Kid Reporters as their press corps to write about the action from the Democratic and Republican parties’ conventions through their First Person Reports Blog. Not only are the Kid Reporters live blogging, but you can also follow them on Twitter! I’ll be reading their blog AND following them on Twitter! I hope the Democrats and Republicans are ready!
In October kids 18 and under can weigh in on Nickelodeon’s Kids Pick the President and vote for the candidate they would like as our next president. Nickelodoeon’s site provides age appropriate information to get to know each candidate and bullet points detailing their stances on major issues such as the war in Iraq, war on terror, education, environment, healthcare, and immigration. Site content also includes information on how a president is elected and message boards. Nickelodeon’s Kids Pick the President site is best for grades 3 and up.
PBS By the People’s The Democracy Project allows children to apply to be president for a day, step inside a voting booth to learn what a difference a single vote makes, and learn how government affects them. This site is best for grades 3 and up.
Take a virtual panoramic tour of The White House and West Wing through 360 degree movies from the White House Video Tours. Tours featureThe Oval Office, Press Briefing Room, Blue Room, Cabinet Room, and many more!
YouTube’s YouChoose ’08 provides an easy to navigate screen with links to politician’s home pages where you can access videos of speeches and their television ads. This site is best for grades 3 and up.
And while the above may be my favorite election websites for kids, I can’t neglect to mention Momocrats, my favorite political site made up of a group of moms who have come together to support the candidate that they think will make a positive change in our country and has the best chance to win the presidential election. I had the pleasure of joining them over brunch at BlogHer to determine a platform and I walked away saying “Wow!” These women are smart, funny, and are heading to the DNC! Support them in their live blogging efforts to bring us great coverage of the DNC by donating to their cause.
Between now and November, I’ll be regularly reading Momocrats, The Daily Show’s Indecision 2008, Rolling Stone’s National Affairs, and Scholastic Kids Reporters along with print news so I’ll be ready to vote.
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Original post by Tech Savvy Mama