8 Election Day Classroom Ideas to Decorate & Educate in Star-spangled Style!
Election season is a great time to roll out the red (and white and blue) carpet and focus on important social studies topics. Discover classroom displays and FUN activities to inform future voters. Use color-coordinated borders, star cutouts, and USA-themed charts and bulletin boards. Follow along for fun ideas to learn about patriotic symbols and the path to the presidency, presidential campaigns, US government, election timelines, and more.
US Patriotic Symbols Bulletin Board
Take a historical tour! Display the Patriotic Symbols Bulletin Board Set for a photo-real study of the monuments, statues, and documents that defined the USA. Explore the rich history of each patriotic symbol and use accents to add facts to your display.
2. Rights & Responsibilities
United States Historical Documents Bulletin Board
Right on! Create a bulletin board featuring important documents in US history: the Bill of Rights and US Constitution. Hang Learning Charts to introduce the rights and responsibilities of being a US citizen. Talk about the rights citizens enjoy, as well as the history behind those rights. Expand and discuss the rights of students in your class (the right to learn, to play, be safe, etc.) and create a Classroom Constitution written on a Class Rules Learning Chart to protect the rights of students in your classroom.
3. Who’s Who & What They Do!
United States Government Bulletin Board
Who’s responsible for the laws we follow every day? Our government officials, that’s who! Create a display using the United States Government Bulletin Board Set as a handy reference to the different branches of government, how they interact, and what role they have in our nation’s laws.
To make a connection between the US government and kids’ daily lives, brainstorm legislation that relates to students like bike or bus safety and seatbelt laws. Can students name other laws they follow every day? Research who was responsible for creating those laws. Can they name current legislature officials? Use the Who’s Who in the US government? printable as a guide to learn more about US lawmakers.
4. Current Events
Create an election timeline bulletin board display to follow a current election. This might include an election in your city, county, state, or for the presidency. Make-Your-Own Timeline Wipe-Off® Bulletin Board Set is perfect for creating a visual of the events of any election. Use newspapers and online sources for information. Write important milestones on the reusable bulletin board pieces and add to the display. Look ahead to upcoming events and look back and what has already happened – can students predict the election outcome?
5. A Peek at the Past
Choose a president. Create a timeline to follow his presidential run from nomination to inauguration and through the term(s) served. Our US Presidents Pocket Flash Cards or US Presidents free printables are handy resources for interesting facts and historical happenings. Document events like famous speeches, special accomplishments, and influential events on the timeline. Students write their own summary of the presidents’ term based on the display. For added fun, mix up all of the milestones and challenge students to put the events in order on the timeline.
6. Map It Out
- Color states using Wipe-Off® Markers to show predictions of which political party will win the majority votes in each state
- Research and write in the number Electoral College electors for each state
- Where have past presidents come from (birthplace or political start)? Write their names on their states of origin
- Follow one candidate's campaign trail and map out where they campaigned; see if you can calculate the miles traveled too
There’s a handy reproducible on the back of the US Map Wipe-Off® Chart. Make copies for students to bring home to use to follow the general election or create their own voting forecast beforehand.
7. Red, White, and Guess Who?
Presidential Trivia Interactive Bulletin Board
Everyone loves trivia! Set up a bulletin board display that’s perfect for quizzing students on all 45 presidents! Do you know who turned down an NFL contract to study law? How about whose portrait is on the $5 bill?
Start with US Presidents Pocket Flash Cards, historical photos from the US Presidents Bulletin Board Set, and Terrific Pockets™. Hang all of the historical photos and tack a library pocket beneath each one. Shuffle the flash cards. Read a fact from the back of one flash card (hide the front from the student guessing). When a student names the correct president, slip the fact card into the pocket beneath the historical photo. Continue quizzing until every fact card is on display. What a fun way to create a handy classroom reference bulletin board!
8. Happy Campaign Trails to YOU!
Let’s campaign! Research past campaigns of presidential candidates. What can students find out about the campaign strategy, their platform, or events at the time that may have shaped a presidential run? Children imagine they are running for president of the United States. What’s their path to the presidency? What’s their campaign focus? How will campaign materials help promote their presidential points of view?
Gather craft supplies:
Encourage kids to create slogans or logos to support their campaign messages, and then use art supplies to create posters or banners. Refer to past presidential campaign posters for inspiration. Bonus idea: buy bulk create-your-own craft buttons for kids to decorate and proudly wear their campaign logos.
Hold a media day! Students present their platforms and give a mini-speech about their run for office, including what their first action as president will be. Add their campaign posters to a classroom bulletin board. This activity is a great first step into mock elections, too!