It was only a few short days ago, during the midterm election, you made a decision to have your voice heard.

As you deliberated, you considered leaders and their policies, the effect of a particular candidate on your career, your children, and your family. You probably even thought about how your choice could influence the trajectory of the students and the young people you serve.

The midterm election demands a focus on the communities in which we reside. A big part of our communities are made up of young impressionable minds. While we might land on different ends of the political spectrum, we can all agree that we have to educate our children about the power of voice and choice, and the importance of empathy, as it relates to their lives and the electoral process.

In many instances, our children are overhearing political rhetoric, seeing political signs, catching sound bites in the evening news and are left feeling confused about what it all means. This exposure lends itself to an opportunity to spark a healthy dialogue about the election process and who we want as our leaders.

If you child is anything like mine, she is already making connections between candidates, policies and how they affect the people she cares about. As she, your child is probably also raising many interesting questions, wondering how their voice matters. So how can you help them?

We would like to share with you, a small collection of resources for children, to expand their knowledge about themselves, their extended community, and the importance of the electoral process.

  1. Circle of Concern - A Design for Change USA Lesson Plan authored by Making Caring Common. This lesson plan teaches the Circle of Concern strategy, which is designed to help young people and adults recognize for whom they do and do not have empathy. With this recognition, students learn how to expand their circle of concern so as to include others they might have not originally.
  2. PBS - PBS LearningMedia offers a unique educational guide to teaching students about the elections, called Election Central. Here you will find expertly designed election lesson plans for students K-12. We especially loved their blog “The Race Is On” with tips and tricks on how parents can talk to their children about the electoral process.
  3. ICivics - offers a simple guide on how to host a mock election lesson in the classroom and simulate the foundational aspects of the electoral process, including polling and picking your candidate.

Get started on learning about your voice and your choice today at: www.designforchange.us