I have the wonderful opportunity to be part of the Teaching American History grant. Throughout the school year, we (me and about 40 other teachers) read history books and attend lectures by professors from around the United States. At the end of the school year, we take a history trip. This summer we went to California. Two of our stops were the Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan Presidential Libraries.
There I had an idea for my class this year. I am excited that I get to teach American history in a presidential election year. (Even if I myself am not excited about either candidate.)
Each library had a collection of campaign buttons, bumper stickers and signs. I think it would be fun to have my students pick a candidate and create a campaign button to show their support.
I am going to have to think about how much I want to bring the election into a 5th grade classroom. (It can't be too much since I do have a strict schedule I have to stick to.) But I would like to end it with all the 5th graders "voting" on election day. I remember doing that in 5th grade for the Clinton/Dole election.
Once I have an actual lesson plan, I'll share it here.