On December 10, 1948, the General Assembly of the United Nations drafted and adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This doctrine clearly states that, for the first time in history, fundamental human rights were to be universally protected. While the right to vote is now viewed as a fundamental human right, it is not upheld in many parts of the world.
As part of the Montessori Peace curriculum, it is important that elementary Montessori teachers not only teach their students about this fundamental human right, but how the voting process works, how to be an informed voter, and how to cast a vote as well in order for them to become fully informed and active citizens.
Teaching Civics in the Montessori Classroom: Activities for Learning About Voting and DemocracyToday, more than ever, the world’s governments are seeing more demands from their citizens. The political uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya once again demonstrate humanity’s need for justice and freedom from sovereign regimes.
Canada is currently in the midst of a federal election campaign, with voters going to the polls on May 2. The next US federal election will take place on November 6, 2012. These are great opportunities for your Montessori upper elementary students to observe a real election taking place.
Upper elementary Montessori students can be more involved in actual elections. NAMC’s Upper Elementary US and Canadian History manuals provide lessons on the democratic process and structure of respective governments. Students can research candidates and their campaigns. They can watch televised debates and review them together as a class. At the end of the campaign, a mock election can be held to see if the class voted the same way as the nation. The National Student/Parent Mock Election project has put together an extensive curriculum for grades preschool through high school that offers even more ideas: http://www.nationalmockelection.org/curriculum.html
There cannot be peace as long as there is oppression in the world. Understanding the importance of a citizen’s right to vote for government leaders as a fundamental human right is a giant step toward helping our children in their “education for peace”.
Other NAMC blogs:
© North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Wednesday, April 27, 2011.