Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Staying Informed about Election 2016 (ages 6-10)

As a parent, I want to encourage my daughters to be engaged, responsible and respectful. It is important to learn about politics, to vote responsibly, to take part in our democracy. At home, we talk about the importance of being open minded and not jumping to assumptions or spreading rumors. Staying informed is an important responsibility.

I also want my kids to know that they can do anything they set their minds to, if they apply themselves with grit and determination. Yesterday, Hillary Clinton made history becoming the nation's first woman nominated as the presidential nominee of a major US political party.
Hillary Clinton at the DNC, via ABC News
My daughters are clearly aware of the impact of this moment--but I wonder how they get their news. Buzz Feed? Or the New York Times? As parents and teachers, we need to show children that they can learn about a nominee's background so that they don't just mimic political slogans but rather have substance to support their views.

For children ages 6-10, I'd highly recommend two resources: Michelle Markel's picture book biography Hillary Rodham Clinton: Some Girls Are Born to Lead, and the news coverage on the Time for Kids' Election 2016 mini-site.
Hillary Rodham Clinton: Some Girls Are Born to Lead
by Michelle Markel, illustrated by LeUyen Pham
Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins, 2016
Your local library
ages 6-10
Michelle Markel and LeUyen Pham bring upbeat energy and thorough research to this engaging picture book biography of Hillary Rodham Clinton. They give a clear sense of her challenges and accomplishments, and also help young readers see Clinton’s life in context.
"In the 1950s, it was a man's world...But in the town of Park Ridge, Illinois along came Hillary."
Kids will relate to many of the qualities and situations that Markel describes--from her youth to her political challenges. Markel concisely traces Hillary's path from law school through her position as U.S. Senator, giving young readers a sense of both her achievements and her drive.
"She wasn't frightened of the crowds...But she couldn't believe how people criticized her--in ways they'd never criticize a man."
LeUyen Pham truly set this book apart, making it my go-to resource to share with young readers. Bright colors and strong expressions draw readers in, capturing their attention, and Pham's attention to historical details is outstanding. She describes her research process in a terrific note--kids will love pouring over the pages identifying historical figures they know. My students especially love contrasting the opening spread (above from the 1950s) with the closing pages, showing the
"No one gets to stop a girl from being the greatest she can be. Hillary thinks everyone deserves that chance."
For election coverage, I stress that kids need to gather information from a variety of sources. I'm sure they'll hear snippets from friends, but they need to make a point to read more than the eye-catching headlines on BuzzFeed.

I've been particularly impressed with the balanced coverage on Time for Kids' Election 2016 mini-site. They have covered both Republican and Democratic conventions. They have introduced all of the major presidential and vice-presidential candidates with short, informative articles. Kid reporters are sharing their experiences at the conventions.
Time for Kids: Election 2016
I must say that I have been very disappointed that some other kids news sites I share with students, especially Newsela and Dogo News, have not covered the national political conventions this summer. It will be interesting to see how they decide to cover the race, especially as it increases in rancor this fall.

Illustration copyright © LeUyen Pham, 2016, shared with permission of the publisher. Many thanks to HarperCollins for sharing a review copy. If you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this site, a small portion goes to Great Kid Books. Thank you for your support.

©2016 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books

No comments:

Post a Comment