Learn about Voting as a Family

Kids with learning disabilities need lots of practice and hands on activities to learn difficult concepts.
Check out this fun voting project to teaching voting principles and stimulate civics discussion for all age groups.
 1.  Introduce different kinds of governments 
Vocabulary:

  • Benevolent dictator – leader is decision maker who makes decisions in the best interest of the people (example:  Mommy and Daddy) 
  • True democracy – people vote on everything (not very practical for big country) 
  • Constitutional democracy – decisions are made through decisions of elected officials (ex. America) 
  • Voting – a method to express your views and make decisions 
  • Decision making – discuss different ways to make decisions 

2. Practice Voting

  • Create a fun colorful ballot box and put it in the kitchen so you will remember to use it a lot 
  • Create a stack of generic ballots for convenience to facilitate frequent family voting 
  • Make a plan to vote daily the week (or month) before election depending on
  • commitment 
  • Designate others to serve as tie breakers (ex. grandparents) 
  • Establish ground rules (Mommy and Daddy have veto when writing ballots regarding family decisions so decisions will be in family’s best interest – ex. Ice cream for dinner every day) 
  • Put a white board in the kitchen to display the Issue of the Day (include pictures if the kids don’t read yet) 
  • Start with simple Issues of the Day and get more complex and controversial as kids start to understand voting 
  • Introduce the Issue of the Day at breakfast and vote at dinner 
  • Create a long list of Issues of the Day to use but be ready to make changes and introduce new issues initiated by the kids as the learning grows  
  • Solicit nominations for Issues of the Day 
  • Talk about accepting defeat gracefully and “peaceful transfer of power”

3. Campaigning 

  • Encourage speeches of support for issues 
  • Make campaign signs supporting issues 
  • Create pros and cons lists 
  • Create Venn diagrams to understand issues better 
  • Share research to influence voters (is this a credible source?) 
  • Reward campaigning

4. Issues of the Day 

  • Cats or dogs 
  • Are Elves real? 
  • Red or Blue 
  • Best snack 
  • Next vacation destination 
  • Tomorrow’s dinner choice 
  • Mermaids or Fairies 
  • Choose movie for family movie night 
  • Which is more fun – biking or skating? 
  • Which would be scarier to meet – witch, vampire, werewolf, ghost? 
  • Best Halloween candy 
  • Best holiday 
  • Research actual candidates and vote based on research (discuss credible sources) 
  • Apples or oranges 
  • Make believe person you’d like to meet 
  • Netflix or Disney+ 
  • Barefoot or shoes 
  • Shorts or long pant 
  • Ugliest president – Johnson or Nixon 
  • More important – frig or AC 
  • Best beach

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