Friday, September 30, 2016

Gaming The 2016 Election - Trading Cards & Virtual Interactives To Meet The Candidates

Source: PBS Kids

Educating younger learners about the 2016 presidential election poses a real challenge. The esoterica of the primary and caucus systems can be difficult to explain. The intricacies of the Electoral College require a background in both United States geography and the Founding Fathers' intents. This year's candidate quirks present a special hurdle, since many of the well-publicized comments are NSFS (Not Safe For School).

Avoiding these challenges, however, would be a disservice. Pretending that the nation picks a president simply by totaling all the votes would be unethical. Teachers might as well never introduce advanced vocabulary or higher-level mathematics.

Source: PBS Kids

Fortunately, PBS Kids has assembled a terrific array of resources in its "You Choose 2016" platform. The kid-friendly range of videos, printouts, and interactives address all of the major election aspects at a level perfect for elementary students.

Source: PBS Kids
For example, the "Meet The Candidates" page offers a bingo-style look at age-appropriate trivia about Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump. The "Videos" portal presents a wide selection of movies and clips, ranging from a live-action explanation of the voting process to an animated tour of the White House.

The "Campaign Poster" interface invites children to decorate and customize their own election placards. The "Trading Cards" area includes colorful renderings of presidents and first ladies to inspire students through a gamification approach.

All told, PBS Kids does a masterful job of avoiding the hard-to-answer questions about the 2016 controversies and instead highlighting the history and the fun of the U.S. presidency.

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