We're doing an elections class in our co-op and the assignment this week will be to watch the debate which is on tomorrow night. I went ahead and created a note page for the students to jot down a few of the topics and responses. It's pretty basic but I've found that students tend to take better notes when you give them a bit of a "form" to fill out.
This weeks assignment was to research the "issues" and how each side was presenting or proposing to solve them. We made a list on the board of what we felt would be the "hot" topics of this presidential election and then assigned different students to research their given issue. The topics we came up with ranged from health care to education to national security. My hope is that preparing in this way will help them to better understand and get more out of the debate tomorrow night.
In class tomorrow we'll also start preparing and choosing candidates for our mock election. Our candidates will be different than the national election for a variety of reasons. The biggest reason being that given the conservative views of most of the families in our co-op it would be difficult to get any of the students to want to take the Democratic position as well as entice other to vote for it. No, a better test of their ability to take in what we're learning is to create their own candidate ad agendas.
We are going to split the class into two teams and let them each chose a Biblical character as their candidate and then their team will act as spokesperson for them. This allows them a little more freedom and necessitates a little more involvement in thinking through the political process rather than just regurgitating what is already there.
Stay tuned to see who the class chose and candidates and what their platforms become!