Election Day Activities for Upper Elementary Classrooms

presidential election ideas for grades 4 5 6

Election Day is an important day in our government’s history. Finding ways to fit the electoral process into your curriculum can be difficult. Social studies teachers may be apprehensive about how to objectively cover the election since there are so many controversial issues surrounding the 2020 presidential election. Below, you can read about 5 ways to cover the electoral process in your classroom without stirring contentious classroom conversations. 


Five Ways to Incorporate the Election into Your Classroom Curriculum


1.    Character Elections

     We all know about classroom mock elections. For a fun twist on a mock election, leave popularity out of it by having a character election. In ELA class, talking about the presidential election may not be part of your curriculum. However, you can teach students about the electoral process by having a mock election—not with students in the class—but with favorite book characters. This would be a great way for students to demonstrate their understanding of character traits and their ability to analyze these traits to determine why and how those traits would make them great presidential candidates.


1.    Videos

    There are several short videos that can be shown to students on Election Day. 

a.    Past presidents: Learn the names and dates that past presidents held office. 

b.    Voting: Learn about democratic government and the voting process.


2.    Electoral College

     I like to keep politics and my personal beliefs out of the classroom and teach “just the facts.” Many students (and adults) don’t fully understand how the electoral college works or the difference between the electoral vote and the popular vote. Destroy these misconceptions by using this video that includes support materials! 


3.    Branches of Government

    Teach the basics of our system of government by using these FREE worksheets from The Mailbox about the three branches of government: the legislative, judicial, and executive branches. Simply click on the worksheet and you’ll be able to download it to print and use in your classroom. If you need to turn this into a digital copy, read here to learn how.


4.    All in One

     If you are looking for ready-made lessons and activities to cover the presidential election and have a bit of time to spend on it, you may like this resource. It covers the electoral college, political parties (including the Democratic, Republican, and Independent parties), the election process, and how to write a presidential election campaign speech. 

Political parties, democratic government, electoral college, for upper elementary students activities

This resource is especially useful if you want to cover the electoral process but are hesitant to dive into the backgrounds of the candidates of each political party. Students will have a fair and objective overview of the process it takes to become a presidential candidate in the United States. 


I hope these 5 ideas help you to cover the presidential election in your classroom. Let me know which one you chose to use in the comments below!

Election day ideas to teach grade 4 5 6 students about the american government




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