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Eden Cornette, Melanie Haas, Mike Hamilton, and Sarah Hamonko

Thematic Unit - Electing the President


Focus: The Presidential Election/Voting TEXT SET:
Grade level: Fourth Grade Fiction Text: If I Were President by Catherine Stier
Nonfiction Text: The People Pick A President -- Scholastic
Additional Text: Grace For President by Kelly Dipucchio
Introductory Activity: The Importance of a President Discussion
Additional Text: The Ballet Box Battle by Emily Arnold McCully
Culminating Activity: Mock Election Additional Text: What Presidents Are Made Of by Hanoch Piven

Introduction Activity Description: Culminating Activity Description:

The teacher will pose these questions to the class: “How would After reading The People Pick a President by Scholastic, students
you feel if there was someone who made decisions that impacted will discuss components of elections and real-life presidential
your daily life? Would you like the idea of there being someone elections that the students are familiar with. Students will also
who could control parts of your life? What if someone could complete a graphic organizer to summarize the process of an
decide what was legal and what wasn’t, and what kind of world election. Once students are familiar with the election process,
you lived in? This person would have control over your safety and they will participate in their own mock election. Immediately
have influence on almost every aspect of your life in some kind of following the mock election, students will be required to write an
way. How would this make you feel?” After brief discussion, the essay about who they voted for and why. The essay will be
teacher would pose the next questions: “What if this person was guided by a checklist to ensure that students have met all writing
picked randomly? Would you want to be able to choose who was components. The essay will not only display their understanding
going to impact your life like this?” The teacher then tells the of social studies concepts, but will also be graded by their ability
class that presidents and other elected officials have large to incorporate appropriate writing strategies and skills.
impacts on the daily lives of every member of the class, and that
the role of a president is very important. After more discussion
and brainstorming, the teacher will tell the class that they will be
learning about the way that they can choose their president, and
the important job of presidents.
Eden Cornette, Melanie Haas, Mike Hamilton, and Sarah Hamonko
STANDARD TEXT OBJECTIVE 5 STAGES ASSESSMENT DIFFERENTIATE
for DISABILITY

ELA 1.1 The Ballot Students will Activate (how): Students will be asked if they know Informal - After the A student with an
who is allowed to vote. There will then be a class conclusion of the
Foundational Box Battle be able to read emotional
discussion about how old you have to be to vote and the activity students will
Skills by Emily The Ballot Box other requirements that need to be met in order for disturbance
participate in a
Arnold Battle with individuals to vote. class-wide dialogue wouldn’t get the
1.1.4.E Read McCully accuracy and to discuss emotions card that doesn’t
with accuracy Read (who): Students will read The Ballot Box Battle in that were felt during
fluency in order leveled reading groups with teacher guidance and
allow for voting to
and fluency to to answer the activity (How prevent
support.
support did you feel if you
comprehension unnecessarily
comprehension. were invited? What
questions and Discuss (what): This book talks specifically about the provoking
Read on-level did it feel like if you
fact that women did not always have the right to vote.
later be able to We would discuss why this time in history was important were not invited?). emotions in the
text with
participate in a as well as the other groups of people that have not We will then relate student that could
purpose and
group always had the right to vote. this back to voting lead to a
understanding. and discuss how
Read on-level discussion those that did not
disruption of
Explore (mini lesson): Students will complete a class
text orally with about the timeline the shows the history of voting in the United always have the learning.
accuracy, various groups States. (When did women gain the right to vote? When right to vote may
appropriate rate, in U.S. history did African Americans gain the right to vote? When were have felt prior to
and expression different voting laws established, etc.) gaining that right.
that did not
on successive have the right Apply (activity): The teacher will set up a small
readings. Use to vote. classroom vote for a decision about a classroom issue
context to (Ex. Favorite type of ice cream, How much recess
confirm or self should we get? etc.) Before being able to vote however,
correct word Students will be given some sort of sorting method or
recognition and role with certain groups of people being able to vote and
certain groups of people not being able to vote. (If you
understanding,
received a star you will not get to vote. Or if you got not
rereading as
star your vote will not count.) After the teacher shares
necessary. the results of the vote, the teacher will then encourage a
classroom discussion (see assessment).

ELA 1.3 Grace For Students will Activate (how): Short video on Kid President Informal- Students with a
meeting the President, Can ask thought provoking Observations on
Reading President be able to student performance
specific learning
questions of what the students would do if they were
Eden Cornette, Melanie Haas, Mike Hamilton, and Sarah Hamonko
Literature By Kelly analyze a text president for a day. Watch: during group work disability will be
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TssZ9Uma1-w section of activity
Dipucchio read by the Formal-Collection of
grouped with
Read (who):Teacher Read Aloud of Text, Grace For
1.2.4.A class in order Flyer created. Graded particular peers
President, asking questions about what students are
Determine the to synthesize for Effort, Neatness, to allow for
in the book are saying they will promise to do if they
Spelling/Grammar,
main idea of a the main idea get elected. and Creativity.
reciprocal peer
text and and supporting Discuss (what): What were some of the things the Formal-Collection of support.
explain how it details from the students in the book said they would do if they Graphic organizers
became president. created to find the
is supported by text. Explore (mini lesson):After reading students will main idea of the text.
key details; Students will work in groups to explore and find the main idea and
summarize the be able to work supporting details in our book along with the
text. collaboratively sequencing of the main events in the book. Teacher
in order to can have students go back and read to support their
thinking. Students will use the Graphic organizer
construct flyer found on page 33 of the Graphic organizer document.
of presidential (Pictured to the right) At the end students will share
(class) parts of their graphic organizer with the overall group.
campaign Apply (activity): Students work in pairs draft and
promises. create a flyer of what they would do if elected
president/class president using Canva.com Student
groups present their flyer to the other classmates and
all students vote by a raise of hands to see who had
the best flyer/best promises.

ELA 1.2 The Students will Activate (how): Students will be asked which Formal Students with
Reading People be able to presidents they know. The class will engage in Collection of hearing
Informational Pick a analyze and a quick brainstorming session related to the student created impairments will
Text President compare the different presidents. graphic be provided with
by text features organizers of a personal copy
1.2.4.G Scholastic such as the Read (who): The text will be read aloud to the given president. of the story and
Interpret pictures, students by the teacher. Throughout the Informal preferential
various graphs, and reading, the teacher will ask students observation of seating during
questions to connect to their prior knowledge
presentations charts to better students acting the read-aloud.
about presidents.
of information understand the out the their
Eden Cornette, Melanie Haas, Mike Hamilton, and Sarah Hamonko
within a text or information Discuss (what): Students will work assigned
digital source about the independently. They will fill out a graphic president for the
and explain different organizer about an assigned president with Wax Museum
how the presidents and the different information they were able to activity.
information their roles. gather using the content within the text.
contributes to
an Explore (mini lesson): Students will go back
understanding into the text to site their evidence and dig
of text in which deeper into the content about their president.
Students will research more about their
it appears.
president in order to “act it out” in the wax
museum activity.

Apply (activity): Students will create a wax


museum by pretending to be their assigned
president and providing their classmates with
information about their assigned president.

Writing If I Were Students will Activate (how): The students will engage in the Student writing Students with
introductory discussion about the importance of a
President be able to write president and the basic role of a president (see first
pieces will be specific learning
1.4.4.M Write by a narrative page of unit map for more details). assessed with a disabilities can be
narratives to Catherine writing piece checklist: provided with a
Read (who): The teacher will read If I Were
develop real or Stier explaining what President by Catherine Stier aloud to the class. The
● Spelling template for their
imagined they would do teacher will engage students in discussion throughout ● Grammar writing pieces.
the book about what they think of the different ideas ● At least 3
experiences or if they were
in the book that the narrator presents. details
events. president. about what
Students will Discuss (what): The students will discuss their own they would
ideas about what they liked from the book and what do as
be able to they would do if they were president for a day. The
Introductory identify the president
class will also discuss what kinds of laws actual
Presidents make, and the distinction between these ● At least 3
Activity various roles of
Eden Cornette, Melanie Haas, Mike Hamilton, and Sarah Hamonko
the president. realities and the class ideas. correlating
reasons
Explore (mini lesson): why they
● I Do: The teacher will first mention personal
would do
ideas of what they would do as president,
and why they would choose these ideas. The these ideas
teacher will then model writing these ideas
briefly, with support as to why these ideas
should be implemented as a president.
● We Do: The class will decide on two ideas
that they liked best when discussing as a
class, and will write an example piece
together.
● You Do: The students will write their own
pieces, referring to previous examples for
support.

Apply (activity): Students will compare their own


ideas of what a president should do to some
examples of what former presidents have done.
Students will analyze the role of an actual president
and will discuss how their ideas compare to how their
ideas would affect citizens.

Social Studies The When Activate (how): Teacher will ask students if Students write A student with a
People participating in they have ever gone to vote with their parents.
about why they learning disability
5.3.4.E Pick a a mock Teacher will follow with asking if they watched
chose their can be provided
Explain the President election, anything on the T.V. during the last election.
candidate in a with a template
voting process. by students will be one-page for his or her
Scholastic able to Read (who): Teacher will read aloud the text writing prompt writing after
Culminating demonstrate to the class. supported with casting a vote.
Activity their details from the They template
understanding Discuss (what): Teacher and students will text. Their can provide
discuss
of the voting writings must structure for the
● Candidates
process to the include critical response.
● Parties
best of their details that
● The role of the voter
ability. display their
● What happens after a vote
understanding
● How a winner is determined
Eden Cornette, Melanie Haas, Mike Hamilton, and Sarah Hamonko
of content they
Explore (mini lesson): Students will reflect have learned
on the process of electing a president as throughout the
exemplified by an election that is detailed in semester. The
the text. Students will complete a graphic students will be
organizer that notes the details of a true U.S. provided with a
Presidential election. teacher-
generated
Apply (activity): Mock checklist that
Election; Students will vote for one of two
will be used to
candidates, modeled after the two major
assess their
political parties, using what they have learned
responses.
about the voting process.

Math Grace For Students will Activate (how): Students will collect class data about Students will be A student with a
favorite candy bars and create a chart that represents the informally assessed
President be able to data. The class as a whole will analyze the purpose of the on their participation
hearing
2.4.4.A.2 By Kelly analyze chart and discuss the results and what they represent. in the debate using a impairment would
Translate Dipucchio electoral Teacher will ask what students have seen charts used for checklist: have the
before. ● Did the group
information college votes present at least 3
arguments from
from one type The and state Read (who): The teacher will read Grace for President by distinct the other side
of data display People populations Kelly Dipucchio and specific portions of The People Pick a arguments for briefly written out
President by Scholastic that address the Electoral College. their position?
to another. Pick a using visual The teacher will ask the class to discuss their ideas about ● Were the
for them so that
President data displays. the electoral college: Is it fair? Are there better ways to students when they are
by choose a winner? How much does it impact who wins? prepared to rebut rebutting points
at least 2 of the
Scholastic Discuss (what): The teacher will provide an example of a opposing
they are able to
(Electoral real-life election, such as the 2016 election, that have been arguments? be engaged and
College) impacted by the difference between the popular vote and Students will be respond
the Electoral College. The class will brainstorm ideas about formally assessed on
how it would feel for both the winner and the loser in this their journaling
appropriately.
system. following the activity
Eden Cornette, Melanie Haas, Mike Hamilton, and Sarah Hamonko
using a checklist:
Explore (mini lesson): The students will prepare to debate ● Did the students
whether or not the Electoral College is a fair system. provide at least 3
Students will be encouraged to research their assigned details regarding
position and form educated stances and rebuttals. their opinions on
the Electoral
Apply (activity): Students will engage in the debate. College?
Following the debate, students will journal about the ● Did the students
experience, and write a personal response to what they provide at least 2
learned about how they feel about the fairness of the new
Electoral College. Students will be encouraged to note how conceptions/chan
their conceptions of the Electoral College have been ges of opinion that
impacted by this activity. they experienced
from the activity?

Arts & What Students will Activate (how): Students will be assigned a president in Collection of graphic
which they will be responsible for knowing important organizer, with grading
Humanities Presidents obtain valuable based on completeness, For a student
information about that president in order to be able to act
Are Made information as that president during our class “wax museum.”
and accuracy of facts. with an Autism
Potential facts could
9.1.3.A Of by about their include… Spectrum
Read (who): Students will read What Presidents Are Made
Know and use Hanoch assigned ● Born of February 12, Disorder, they
Of and The People Pick a President in order to gain 1809; Born in
the elements Piven president in valuable information about their assigned president. Kentucky; 16th may struggle to
and principles order to be president of the take on the role
Discuss (what): Students and teacher will discuss United States;
of art form to The able to take on President during the of another
information that is expected to be included about each
create works in People the role of that president. Example of expected information can include
Civil War; Helped individual. In this
end slavery in the
the arts and Pick a president. but is not limited to years of service as president, political United States; The case, there would
party and beliefs, campaign interests, etc.
humanities. President tallest president (6 be increased
feet, 4 inches);
Theatre: stage by Explore (mini lesson): After participating in the class Known for wearing a teacher support
productions, Scholastic discussion and learning specific requirements and tall hat; Died on April as well as the
expectations for the assignment, students will go back into 15, 1865
read and write option for the
the text and use online resources in order to research and
scripts, learn about a given President of the United States. student to have
improvise, Students will use a graphic organizer in order to write key notes with them
details about the president they are researching. (This
interpret a role, during the “wax
graphic organizer will be collected)
design sets, museum.”
Apply (activity): Students will receive their research
and direct.
graphic organizer back in order to prepare for the next
activity. Students will be able to plan, act, and dress as the
Eden Cornette, Melanie Haas, Mike Hamilton, and Sarah Hamonko
president they researched. Students will then be able to The bulk of the students’
take turns viewing students act out and explain the life of grade will come from
their president and the facts that they learned. (Students their ability to take on
the role of their assigned
will act like wax statues in which their peers can visit and
president by answering
interact with in order to learn about the president that the questions and relaying
person researched) information about
themselves with
confidence and
accuracy.