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Home schooling

Elementary and Middle School

You can:

  • Have a puppet show in which the puppets ask the audience to vote for them and tell them why. How will your viewers vote?

  • Create your own political party! Invite your friends to join. Will you have a mascot? Who will be the party's candidate? What will your party stand for? What is your party's position on the environment? Education? Write a party platform. Do any of your classmates wish to form an opposing party? Organize a debate between opposing candidates.

  • Use your local newspaper to:

  • Track your state's candidates in the 2004 election as they travel through the state. Map their campaign trail. Are they visiting schools? Hospitals? What different groups of people are they talking to? What are they promising to do if they are elected? Do the promises change depending on which group they are talking about? Do the issues they talk about change?

  • Read the editorials of different papers about the candidates. Do the papers support the same candidates? Why is the paper supporting one candidate more than another? Write an editorial or a letter to the editor about the candidate you think is the best and why everyone should vote for your candidate. Submit it to your local newspaper.

  • Read the editorial cartoons. Draw one of your own. Organize a class contest for the best cartoon!

  • Design a poster that will encourage students to vote in the Mock Election. What will the slogan be? Where will you put your poster? Design a poster for the real election. Where will you put it so that more people can see it and be encouraged to vote?

  • Contact your local League of Women Voters and ask them to visit your school to talk about elections and the plans for election reform in your state.

  • Invite your local candidates to come to your school and debate the issues. If they are unable to attend, hold your own issues debate with the students role-playing the candidates.

  • Choose a moderator.

  • What questions do you want the candidates to answer?

  • Hold a mock press conference:

  • Invite a TV or newspaper reporter to your school to talk about press conferences and give you some tips on how to ask good questions.

  • Study the candidates' stand on the issues.

  • Decide who will role-play the candidates. Who will be the reporters?

  • Invite your parents and classmates to attend the press conference.

  • Ask an election clerk to come to school and talk about how votes are tallied and how elections work. What changes have taken place since the election of 2002? Ask the clerk to help your class register for the 2004 Mock Election just as if you were registering for the actual elections. What forms will you need to fill out? Where do you send the form when it's complete? What happens after that?

  • Challenge another class (or school) to a quiz team competition. Which team knows the most about previous elections in America's history? Which team knows the most about the candidates running for election? Which team knows more about how elections work?

  • Write a letter to your elected officials (Senators, Congressmen, Governor, Secretary of State, or the President) and ask them why they believe voting is important and why young voters should vote for them.

  • Host an "Election Tea Party" - invite older people and ask them to talk about past elections they remember. What issues were important to them then? What issues are important to them now? Who was their favorite President?

  • Find out about the candidates and VOTE! on Mock Election Day! Encourage your parents and family to vote.


Here are some examples of what other kids have done in their school's Mock Elections:

Students from Azalea Gardens Middle School made commercials for the candidates they liked the most. They wrote the script for the commercials, acted in them, filmed them, and showed them to their class and to their parents.

The seventh graders at Urban Middle School in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, really wanted to encourage everyone in their town to vote. They thought having a billboard with a message to vote would help. The students contacted a local sign company owner about a billboard. The owner was so impressed that he offered to put the billboard up for free. But, the class wanted to prove that they were really serious about voting. The students decided to raise the money for the project themselves. They earned the money by babysitting, raking leaves, doing odd jobs, raiding piggy banks, having bake sales, collecting aluminum cans, etc., and in only four and a half school days, raised $111.07 to pay for the billboard!

The people at the sign company said they weren't going to vote before, but after hearing how hard the students had worked, and with such determination, the common reaction became, "I'll have to go vote".

What will YOU do?

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