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Vermilion Parish Schools

Activity 8: Electing Local Officials (GLE: 20)

Materials List:  The First Book of Elections, Vote!, Voting and Elections or similar books; Internet (optional)

On the board, write “Citizens vote for leaders who run for office.”  Discuss ways in which citizens choose a leader.  One way is by students asking themselves:

  • Who will do the best job? 
  • Can I trust the person? 
  • Will this person work hard to make our town a better place to live and work? 

Using brainstorming (view literacy strategy descriptions), have students make a list of ways citizens can learn more about a person who wants to be a leader (e.g., talking to neighbors/friends, or finding information in newspapers, on television and radio, or on the Internet), and qualities voters should look for in a leader (intelligence, honesty, responsibility, decision maker, etc.).  Have students organize information into a chart similar to the following:

Ways to Learn About Leaders

Qualities of a Leader

Talk to neighbors.

Talk to friends.

Read newspapers.

Listen to television and radio.

Use the Internet.






After students complete the brainstorming activity, the teacher will have students share their ideas as she writes them on the board.  Then discuss with students what way would be the most reliable when trying to find information about government leaders.

Next, have students work in small groups to research and explain how local officials are elected. Tell them to read books (e.g., The First Book of Elections by Edmund Lindop, Vote! by Eileen Christelow, Voting and Elections by Dennis B. Fradin, etc.) as well as talking to their parents, grandparents, and other people who may have information about the election process in their locality. Use Internet resources to help students understand the concept of elections.

Lesson Plans/Resources:

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