The second Smart Summer Challenge theme is “Government”!
What is the Smart Summer Challenge? Amy of teachmama.com, MaryLea of Pink and Green Mama, and I are challenging our community to beat the “summer slide” (the learning loss that can happen over the summer).
We’ll be posting our activities daily, loosely following this calendar of educational summer ideas, and hosting a weekly linky (with PRIZES) for others to share their ideas and activities. The Week 2 linky will go up FRIDAY, July 8!
You are invited to find an opportunity for learning with your children every day–it can be as simple as reading a book or playing a game or as involved as a themed craft and activity. You don’t have to follow our themes or suggestions–just commit to making time to learn together!
There’s also a Smart Summer Challenge facebook page so we can all add our own tips, links, and photos!
We began the Smart Summer Challenge with placing ourselves on the map and now we are going to explore our communities and our country!
When I was in the classroom, I taught social studies (and art history and writing). Exploring civics with very young children is quite different than approaching the same topic with high school students.
My plan is to offer an introduction to the concepts of liberty, democracy, and fairness–ideals that form the foundation of our nation. Hopefully, the children will also become aware of the use of symbols that invoke these ideals.
My daughter is at that age where she likes to declare, “That’s not fair.” So, this should be a good opportunity to analyze what’s fair and whether or not a majority vote is always fair.
As the opportunity arises, I may also touch upon the three branches of the government.
Here is my plan for next week…subject (as always) to change based on the weather, sudden brainstorms, children’s moods, or just random whims.
- Day 1: Ice Cream Voting Party! - What’s your favorite flavor? Which flavor wins at your Fourth of July party? What if everyone had to eat the flavor that won? Is that fair? Why is it important to vote? (I’ll probably post this later in the week since we’ll do this on July 4.)
- Day 2: Me on the Map – This is a holdover from last week but it helps foster awareness of the 50 states and the geographical location of the United States.
- Day 3: Symbols of America and Make Your Own Flag - What are the symbols of the United States? What do they represent? If you were making a flag for “the nation of you”, what symbols would you use? (The acrostic poem on the calendar would probably be too advanced for my young kids.)
- Day 4: Writing a Letter & Visiting the Post Office -We’ll write a letter to someone in another state (and locate that state on the map and measure the distance). Then, we’ll address it properly and mail it. We’ll also learn how the postal system played an important role in uniting and growing our country.
- Day 5: Skip Counting with Coins – Since we’ve already cleaned coins for Presidents’ Day, we’ll try something else with our currency…skip counting! We’ll also review the presidents, buildings, and symbols on those coins.