Celebrate the foundations of the United States during the lead-up to the election this fall! International Day of Democracy is celebrated on September 15th, United States Constitution Day and Citizenship Day are both held on September 17th, and our National Election Day is November 3rd.
International Day of Democracy was started to give the world the opportunity to not only celebrate democracy as a system, but also to bring awareness to issues surrounding the global state of democracy. It’s a great day to introduce the Global Goals for Sustainable Development or contrast lessons from other countries with those from the United States. English Language Learners would benefit from the American English public debate lesson plan. It can be a day of fun and learning for students of all ages.
United States Constitution and Citizenship Day can be celebrated as one event or separate events. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and the Library of Congress offer many resources for celebrating both events. There are many government agencies that offer resources, lesson plans, and other activities for Constitution Day for students of all ages including The Center for Civic Education, The National Archives, The Department of Defense, and The United States Census Bureau. Incorporating art and music into your Constitution Day celebration is simple with the poster design contest from ConstitutionFacts.com or lessons from the hit musical Hamilton!
The upcoming national election offers not only a chance to teach students about the election process, but also a chance to bring in media literacy lessons. Teaching media literacy, especially during an election year is an important learning opportunity that will serve students for the rest of their lives! AllSides.com (reviewed here) is an excellent resource to use when looking at the various perspectives around the elections and offers many classroom activities and lesson plans centered around media literacy. A variety of lesson plans and activities for all ages are offered by Scholastic, C-Span, PBS Learning Media, The New York Times, and iCivics will make planning a unit or lessons about the elections simple.
This fall, celebrate International Democracy Day, Constitution Day, Citizenship Day, and the national election in your classroom! The opportunities for learning are endless. As always, TeachersFirst.com offers a variety of resources to make your lesson planning easy and the TeachersFirst blog has helpful tips searchable by topic.