Learning Civics in Third Grade

“This year’s third graders had a contagious passion for civics! After learning about forms and branches of government, rights and responsibilities of citizens, and civic engagement, we ended the unit with a class election as the culminating project. Students formed campaigns that championed causes, rather than people. Within each campaign, students took on various roles such as designer, creative director, speechwriter, and public speaker. Students then presented to their classmates in hopes of rallying support for their cause. These campaigns aimed to raise awareness for a range of topics including animal welfare, endangered species, pollution awareness, bullying prevention, and climate change. We then set up a private voting booth in our classroom, with a sample ballot inside, and students enjoyed casting their ballots and tallying up the votes (students could vote for any issue except their own). 

The goal of the election was to come up with one cause students could unite behind, and then raise awareness for that cause as a whole grade. Animal welfare won the class election, and third graders then decided on a method for raising awareness. Students landed on creating posters and scratch presentations to raise awareness about this issue, working individually or in pairs on their final projects. It was fantastic to see our students apply their curiosity and passion for civics throughout this project, using their collaborative and conflict resolution skills along the way, in an effort to turn that passion into action.” ~Charis Fisher, Third Grade Teacher