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Teacher, Writer, and Artist

POLITICAL CHAOS

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"The state of Georgia law requires you to vote at the precinct where you are registered.
If you are unsure you are at the correct precinct, please see a poll official."

—Rules of the State Election Board

Today was election day and the school handed the gym over to a bunch of nice old ladies and some ballot booths.

From the walkway above the gym, I watched a whole lot of people come in and vote for Sunday liquor sales and other things, and my only patriotic thought was … What if we unleashed the kids and let these nice old ladies and the people who take the time to vote their wishes mix it up with the kids and basketballs and the footballs and the Hula hoops and the elbows and knees and arms and legs. There would be the usual screaming and crying and bickering and meltdowns to go with all that, too. I wondered what these local citizens might think.

Of course I know what they’d think.

www.adixiediary.com

I'm having my 5th graders run

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I'm having my 5th graders run for president as we learn about the main components of a presidential election: issues, parties, primaries, conventions, polls, advertisements, debates, the electoral college, and Inauguration Day.

- The lessons and objectives are here: http://psolarz.weebly.com/the-2012-presidential-election1.html
- Presidential Character Traits: http://psolarz.weebly.com/presidential-character-traits.html
- Virtual Debate: http://psolarz.weebly.com/virtual-debate.html
- Issue 1 - Education: http://psolarz.weebly.com/education.html
- Issue 2 - Health Care: http://psolarz.weebly.com/health-care.html
- Issue 3 - Social Security: http://psolarz.weebly.com/social-security.html
- Issue 4 - Immigration: http://psolarz.weebly.com/social-security.html

Come check out what we're doing in our 21st Century Classroom!!!

Creator of the Critical Voter curriculum

Using the 2012 election to teach practical critical thinking

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I'm glad to see this idea starting to get so much play. I've actually created a curriculum for using the 2012 Presidential election to teach practical critical thinking skills, including bias (and how to overcome it), logic and persuasive langauge. The curriculum (along with an associated podcast, blog and other resources) can be found at www.criticalvoter.com, and everything on the site (including lessons plans) is free for use by educators.

Youth on the Trail: Election 2012

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These are great resources!. I thought I’d mention that What Kids Can Do (WKCD) has partnered with the Indianapolis-based youth-led Y-Press to create a series of stories, articles, profiles related to politically active youth in the 2012 campaign. We did the same thing in the 2008 election, with great results: young journalists interviewing and showcasing young voting activists and issues meaningful to youth voters. The series began in July and runs through November. We suspect that students like those whose teachers tune into this blog would find these profiles of politically active youth provocative.

Here’s the link: http://www.whatkidscando.org/youth_on_the_trail_2012/

My election project

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Students study institutional/persistent issues in elections like campaign finance, third parties, voting technology (should all states do the same thing?-federalism mandates), the process, etc. Each of these are mini-units that culminate with what we call the Commission on Election Reform. In groups, students design their own interest groups (name, slogan, propaganda) and develop a presentation on three changes they would make to the system.

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