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Democracy at Work

Through various online activities, students can explore our American government, the presidency, and what it means to be a U.S. citizen.

Grades

PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8

Activity Type

  • Activities and Games

With articles, timelines, quizzes, and games, “Democracy at Work” offers students an overview of American democracy. Students can discover their own role in government as citizens of the United States and challenge their notions of what it means to be an American.

Citizenship Activities

Voting History

  • Students can read about the history of Women’s Suffrage (grades 3–8), test their knowledge with a quiz, and explore an interactive map to discover when women won the right to vote around the U.S. and the rest of the world. 

Presidential Activities

  • Students can explore Presidential history with an Inauguration Timeline (grades 3–8) featuring facts about inaugurations, from the first to modern day. Students compare dates of the presidents with important corresponding events in U.S. history.
  • The interactive game If You Were President (grades 3–8) lets students share how they would run the country. Students choose their advisors, balance a budget, and write explanations for their choices. 
  • The Math Hunt: U.S. Presidents (grades 5–8) game gets students combing the Internet for facts about U.S. Presidents that will help them solve problems — problems that also test math skills.
  • Another interactive game, History Mystery (grades 3–8), poses historical questions about the Bill of Rights and presidents. With the help of clues, students try to identify a mystery person or event and are encouraged to search online or off for the answers. Final answers offer comprehensive information on the game’s subject, along with relevant links to other websites for further study.

Explore Local Government 

  • Meet the Mayor (grades K–2) invites early readers on a visit to his office in Hawaii. Through words and pictures, students are introduced to a few basics about a mayor’s job. At the end of their visit, they can take a quiz on what they’ve learned.

Getting Involved 

  • Get Involved (grades 3–8) shares how a 12-year-old boy launched a campaign to fight child labor around the world, eventually growing into a network with members in 35 countries. Students can then brainstorm and document ideas on how they’d make a difference.

Learning Objectives

Scholastic's "Democracy at Work" is designed to support the teaching of standards-based skills. Depending on how much time students spend in the course of participating in Democracy at Work, students will:

  • Evaluate the meaning and significance of historical documents, such as the Bill of Rights
  • Generate ideas and questions about the role of the American president and how the agenda of his administration impacts our daily lives
  • Consider what it means to be an American and the responsibility each American citizen has to participate in government by exercising their right to vote
  • Conduct research by gathering information about the function of government by reading background material, speech and interview transcripts, and in-depth political analyses.
  • Use Web technology to access various aspects of American civics, including the history of our constitutional government and the continuing role of citizens in a democracy.
  • Brainstorm on how they themselves can make a difference as individual citizens, not only of the United States, but of the world as a whole
  • Imagine themselves in the role of President and challenged with properly budgeting programs such as education, the military, and health care
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Susan Cheyney

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