Sixth and Seventh grade students have just begun studying the midterm elections as a way of kickstarting our unit on governance. In the next few days, they should be pestering you with questions about your own thoughts and views on these upcoming elections, so be prepared!
Earlier this week, students had an in-depth review of the different branches of our government and then started to look specifically at the House of Representatives and the Senate in regards to midterm elections. Among the multitude of vocabulary and ideas that came up, students learned the word Franking privilege, incumbent, and the Electoral Connection. Make sure to ask your child about the meaning behind these different words!
As a primer to these elections, students are looking at different voting groups that can swing elections: youth voters, African American voters, Latino voters, Women voters, and more. They’ve also been examining all of the mail I’ve been getting in regards to the upcoming midterms and analyzing the depiction of initiatives and candidates through advertising. Now, for the next week, they’ve selected two different races to research and follow. They all have copies of the Snohomish County ballots and will be watching the races they’ve selected closely on November 6th so that they can report back on who won the race and what initiatives passed or failed.
For the second half of our unit, we will be looking at what happens when Government doesn’t function. First, students will be studying the Watergate Scandal and examining our unit-based questions along the way, paying particular attention to our conceptual and debatable questions: what constitutes a successful government and does a leader in government always need to be honest with its citizens? After examining what lead to and happened during Watergate, students will be selecting their own Government scandal to study and present to the class. All in all, it’s been a busy final week of October as we head into the first week of November and the Midterm Elections!