I love to use current events as a jumping off point for our learning. This morning DD and I brainstormed about how we could do that very thing with the upcoming election.
She came up with some very basic questions to start with - why is there an election? what are the different levels of government and what are their responsibilities? We discussed this some and discussed how we could do more research into these questions and the different ways we could present our findings. She's thinking about doing a "Politics" lapbook.
I had already done a little research for possible resources last night and found a site called Nodice.ca, "an independent website which contains educational resources and links for Canadian teachers and students, and information about federal, provincial and territorial elections in Canada." This looks like a really great resource that I hope to use in the future, as well as during the current federal election.
DD and I perused the Canada Federal Election 2008 portion of the site after our brainstorm session and had a great discussion time. Our perusual promoted more ideas. She plans to contruct our own Count Down to Election Day poster to keep it fresh in our minds and to get all of us talking about it. She's also planning on making a poster of the ridings in our area and filling in the candidates running for the different parties in each riding as we learn about them. She may also make a little mini booklet about the party leaders.
I was thrilled with how she jumped right into the topic and actually seemed to enjoy it. She reminded me that during an election a few years ago she had set up a voting booth in our house and everyone had to cast their vote for the local candidates. I had forgotten all about that. Then I told her about the Students Vote Organization I learned about through the NoDice site. I don't know if the program is open to homeschoolers or not but it would be a neat thing for homeschool groups to take advantage of if it is.
This lead to a discussion about the voting age limit, which lead to a discussion of the history of the right to vote, which is most likely going to lead to more research and project possibilities.
So, we're off and running! Are you doing anything to incorporate the election into your learning? I'd love to hear about it if you are.
Edit: Just found some more great resource sites!
Link to Learning is a site "Linking you to web sites supporting the Ontario curriculum." Although it states it is specifically for Ontario Curriculum it can be a great resource to any homeschool. This resource is not specifically for the election but I found this work sheet, about the different levels of government and their responsibilites, from the site. In reality there is nothing fancy about this worksheet and you could quite easily just make your own without printing it off.
Government in Canada is the site you are supposed to use to fill in the worksheet. It has great information about the different levels of government and their responsibilities.
Canadainfo is the main site where the page above is found and it is another great resource, not just for the election.
Election 2008 is a specific section of this site for the upcoming election. It looks like it will be a great resource. It answers DD's question about the timing of the election, among other things.
I'm trying to decide if I should just added resources to this post as I find them, or make a new separate post each time I find new resources, or if I should make a special section in the sidebar for the resources I'm finding. Any thoughts on that?
EDIT: I have decided that rather than add to this post I will be making new posts about specific election issues. You can find all thet posts about the 2008 federal election by clicking on the federal election 2008 label at the bottom of this post.
EDIT: Just a reminder to be sure to check the validity of facts and statistics and not to rely on just one source of information. DD and I have discovered that the Nodice site information is not correct for your province, at least as of September 11. Also, the Students Vote program is available for homeschoolers so go register!
revised and published in the October issue of Homeschooling Horizons Magazine and also published on Homeschooling Horizons website