From Julie Rogers Bascom, educator from Edina Public Schools, MN.
As many teachers will tell you, this has been a difficult election to be leading classroom discussions about political candidates, the election, and voting. Yes, these are tough conversations, but all the more important to engage young thinkers in respectful exchanges to understand multiple perspectives. One of the ways that Edina Public Schools is addressing these dialogues is through our Kids Voting Edina program.
Students experience lessons from the Kids Voting curriculum, available at Minnesota Civic Youth, which are aligned to MN State Social Studies Standards. One of our teachers led a lesson on voting — learners could choose to have a snack from a box of cookies or from a box of crackers. Most “voted” for a cookie and were surprised when what was in the box of cookies were crackers. “Hey, that’s not what we voted for,” said several of the students.
The teacher then led a discussion about how you need to look past the outside to see what’s in the inside. This applies not only to elections, but the playground, the new student in the class or someone who is experiencing homelessness.
Through service-learning, we develop responsible and engaged citizens.