STEP ONE - BACKGROUND INFORMATION AND QUESTIONING
This first step I found to be really important with my Grade 5s, because they did not have a lot of knowledge about our government system and how political parties work. Most importantly, we really needed to understand what a political platform is and how different aspects of a platform appeal to certain people, and not others in the same province and/or country. Learning that different people have different biases and interests was integral to the next part of our project.
STEP TWO - GATHERING AND ORGANIZING INFORMATION
With the above information in hand, I gave the students their assignment. They were put in groups of 4 and their job was to create a political party and platform that would work in our school environment. Their projects consisted of the following elements:
1. Create a party name and logo.
2. Create a 6 plank political platform that would appeal to the students in our school at all grade levels.
3. Take into account how you would raise money for your party's ideas.
4. Present your platform in a SWAY presentation - and everyone has to be a part of the presentation.
5. Be prepared for a party debate where other parties will try to poke holes in your platform!
While they were working I assigned different roles based on different learning needs - a secretary, an art consultant, the leader of the party to make sure they were on task, etc. I also gave groups an outline to work with based on questions that we co-created when the project was introduced. The full outline is available in the Social Studies and Science Live Binder (the link is at the top of this webpage):
I had final approval of their rough work before they began their Sways, and I read their platforms several times and left sticky notes as feedback for them to help guide students along the way.