When teaching to young children about the concept of a Presidential debate, it is really important to keep it simple. A debate takes critical thinking skills and when adding the Presidential debate to the mix, it can be really difficult for a small child to have any type of understanding of it.
However, there are teaching concepts that can be taught to help a child gain a very simple understanding of the Presidential debate.
Here you will find 5 Presidential debate concepts that can be used with small children in the classroom or at home to help in teaching about the Presidential debate.
Presidential debate concept #1: Teach what it means to be President
Reading age appropriate books to children about the Presidency and what being President means is helpful to children to gain a simple understanding of the role of President. Age appropriate videos are also a good way to teach about the President’s role and why it is important.
Presidential debate concept #2: Display photos
Showing photos of the Presidential candidates and saying their names is a great way for kids to gain a visual understanding of who the candidates are and displaying photos may also trigger a memory of seeing the candidates on television.
Presidential debate concept #3: Discuss debate vs. arguing
Talk about the difference between debating an issue and arguing an issue, demonstrate to the children with another adult how a debate and argument sounds and looks like. Talk about the differences and similarities of a debate and an argument, kids learn so much from visually seeing and hearing about concepts. The children get really excited about this modeling in the classroom.
Presidential debate concept #4: Discuss and debate important issues
Explain how the Presidential candidates debate about important issues in our country and why they debate; this teaching concept will be difficult for most younger children to understand. However, if examples of issues important to the children are discussed, the kids may have a better understanding. For example, an important issue for my students in my classroom is the amount of time they have for snack break. They feel they should have more time and I feel they have enough time, so I had a debate with them about this issue and related it to how the Presidential candidates debate.
Presidential debate concept #5: Hold a debate
Holding a debate in the classroom is a critical thinking skill that kids love to do. It is important to pick a topic that is relevant to the children and a topic they understand and have knowledge about. When I have held a debate in my classroom, I divided the class in half and had them turn their desks facing each other to be able to debate. I make myself the mediator and after some careful discussion of rules and etiquette, the debates are typically enjoyed and highly successful.
There is continual talk in the news media and all around us about the Presidential debate, giving young children some knowledge of the idea of a debate is a teaching concept that can carry through their life time and make them more educated adults.