Studying U.S. Elections Hands-On (With an Incredible Lapbook!)

Posted by The Home School in the Woods Team on

Elections are part of the American way of life. From time immemorial, citizens of the United States have geared up and headed to the polls every November in order to vote on important issues, elect local representatives, and choose a national leader every fourth year. 

For most adults, elections feel like a normal part of life. However, the Electoral College, Super Tuesday, political parties, and terms in office are all things that we learn as part of the process of growing up in a republic. 

That’s why it’s important to take the time to teach our children about the nuances and details of the United States government while they’re still young. 

Of course, the natural question that arises at this point is how to do that in the first place. You can always spend hours looking for random books on the electoral system, searching the web for election-day worksheets, or digging through the YouTube archive of Schoolhouse Rock! videos in order to cobble a lesson plan together. 

But before you do that, you may want to consider making a U.S. elections lapbook

U.S. Elections Lap-Pak

Home School in the Woods’ interactive, information-filled, hands-on elections study is the perfect way to learn about U.S. elections ...and, even better, everything you need is already pulled together for the occasion!

The U.S. Elections Lap-Pak

Here is our U.S. Elections Lap-Pak quick-take breakdown!

What Is a “Lap-Pak” in the First Place?

Our Lap-Pak products each cover a short study that primarily consists of one beautiful, absolutely packed lapbook. Each study also has an accompanying text booklet aimed at outlining the topic briefly yet thoroughly. Often (including in the U.S. Elections study) they come with an audiobook version of the text, as well. 

You can find out more about Lap-Paks in the video below.

What Is a Lapbook?

Of course, saying a Lap-Pak is mainly made of a lapbook doesn’t help much if you don’t even know what a lapbook is! In essence, a lapbook is a series of small projects, each focusing on various elements of a topic. All of these are combined into a file folder in an artistic way that creates a portfolio of sorts. Students fill in sections within the projects with their own answers, thoughts, and opinions. In addition, the completed lapbook serves as an excellent summary of the entire study. You can get a full description of lapbooks and how they work in our article Why Teach with Lapbooks?

How Long Does the Study Take?

All of our products are designed to be adapted to your particular students, their schooling needs, and the amount of time you have to work with. However, to directly answer the question, when worked on two or three times a week, the study usually takes around one to two months to complete. 

What Ages Is It For?

As with all of our products, we try to make sure they can be utilized with as many ages as possible. That said, the U.S. Elections Lap-Pak is typically best suited for elementary and middle-school students between the third and eighth grades. 

NOTE: While the official ages are stated above, many homeschoolers and teachers have easily adapted Lap-Paks for both younger and older students. Simply make sure to go over your options and tailor what projects you choose to do, depending on the capabilities of the children you’re working with.

Why Use the U.S. Elections Study?

Of course, just because the above information fits the bill, that doesn’t necessarily mean the U.S. Elections study, in particular, is going to answer your schooling needs. An obvious follow-up question is what, exactly, the study covers. Let’s take a look at the requirements first.

What Requirements Does It Cover?

First off, the U.S. Elections study is not specific to any one election year or cycle. Nor is it a full-blown high school civics course. It’s meant to provide a broad-stroke, general understanding of how the American system of electing state officials works in the first place.

While there is information about the government and an excellent breakdown of the election process, it is meant to be either an introduction to the greater topic or a supplement to a larger, more comprehensive study. If you’re looking for a more complete breakdown of American history as a whole, check out our comprehensive hands-on Time Travelers series.

For more specific details regarding the requirements met by the U.S. Elections study, check out the Scope and Sequence.

What Topics Does It Cover?

Next up, let’s see what subjects the study actually touches on. Let’s start by taking a quick look at the contents of the book and audiobook text that come with the study. 

U.S. Elections Lap-Pak lapbook projects

NOTE: While the book touches on the history of government as well as local elections, the focus is on Presidential elections in order to help keep the scope from getting too large for younger students.

Text booklet title: U.S. Elections

Content section titles:

  • Elections in the United States of America
  • The Different Forms of Government
  • Governments of the People in History
  • America: A New Creation from Old Roots
  • The Three Branches of Government
  • Suffrage
  • The Election Process
  • Running for Office
  • Caucuses and Primaries
  • Running a Presidential Campaign
  • Raising Money
  • Election Day
  • The Electoral College
  • Inauguration Day
  • The Importance of Elections

Next up, we have the 21 projects included in the elections lapbook that your students make throughout the study. Each of these is an individual project, all of which are ultimately put into the final assembled lapbook at the end of the study.

  • Definition of “Election”
  • Different Forms of Government
  • The American Experiment
  • The Three Branches of Government
  • Suffrage
  • Who Do We Vote For?
  • Terms of Office
  • A “Handful” of Political Parties
  • Caucuses & Primaries
  • National Conventions
  • The Presidential Campaign: Platform
  • The Presidential Campaign: Stump Speaking
  • The Presidential Campaign: Media — News Source
  • The Presidential Campaign: Campaign Advertising — Spreading the Word!
  • Raising Money
  • Statistics
  • Election Day
  • The Electoral College
  • Inauguration Day
  • The Electoral Race!
  • The “Vocabinet”

Studying U.S. Elections This Election Cycle

It doesn’t matter if you’re gearing up for the 2020 presidential election for students by preparing an election lesson plan, or trying to find an elections unit study for any other point in the past or the future. Regardless of your point of interest, if it’s about elections, making a U.S. elections lapbook is a perfect way to see, hear, read, and write about the process. 

Its hands-on approach is the perfect way for younger students to be introduced to concepts like caucuses, primaries, national conventions, stump speaking, suffrage... and the list just keeps on going. The best part is, once they’ve finished their lapbook, they’ll have an excellent visual aid to help them refer to the process each time an election cycle rolls around. 

If you’re interested in purchasing a copy of the study either digitally or on CD, you can do so here. Then, print off the first couple of projects, pull the text up on your computer screen, and start diving into one of the most fascinating government systems in history!

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  • This looks like a perfect addition for my middle schooler’s curriculum right now. I wanted to take a hiatus from our regular stuff to study the election this year!

    Lori James on
  • This looks amazing. It seems to show all aspects of process. Such a great learning experience.

    Michele Shea on
  • This is such an important lesson to teach kids of all ages and using lapbooks helps to teach through all the different learning styles.

    Moe Bruns on
  • The 21 projects sound great! I have 1st and 2nd grade levels so this would be so wonderful to learn and grow with. Thanks for the chance to win! Blessings!

    Brenda Riggan on
  • WOW! Yous say it’s not a full-blown civics course, but I say it’s at least half a course. It looks like it covers so much.

    Sheri on

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