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ERIC Number: EJ1002601
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1056-0300
"Boss of the United States" Kindergarteners' Concept of Voting: Five Scaffolded Lessons that Build Understanding
Mulrey, Betty C.; Ackerman, Ann T.; Howson, Patricia H.
Social Studies and the Young Learner, v25 n1 p27-32 Sep-Oct 2012
In any U.S. presidential election year, classroom teachers integrate lessons into their curriculum that help students understand their privileges, responsibilities, and rights as good citizens. Teaching about the electoral process and voting in primary classrooms is one way to build a foundation that promotes civic engagement. In this article, the authors provide a glimpse into the thoughts of primary age children as they began to conceptualize the concept of voting. They selected two essential questions for the lessons: "Why vote? How are voting and elections connected?" Important pedagogical questions include: "How can teachers promote their young students' understanding of voting and election concepts? What concepts should be taught at this grade level? How should curriculum be structured for success?" For children in the early primary grades, the scaffolding of experiences is critical for cognitive understanding of the value, meaning, and importance of voting. Teachers create meaningful experiences that draw on children's prior knowledge to build connections to new knowledge. Scaffolding supports the knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed to facilitate growth in understanding. The experience of voting can take the form of five scaffolding levels, which are discussed in this article. Each level overlaps the next, yet maintains its own particular focus in the hierarchy of increasing complexity for the child's understanding of voting. (Contains 3 notes.)
National Council for the Social Studies. 8555 Sixteenth Street #500, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Tel: 800-683-0812; Tel: 301-588-1800: Fax: 301-588-2049; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Kindergarten
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A