Please Note: An updated version of these cards with the 2020 presidential candidates can be found here.
It recently occurred to me that I was letting a rare educational opportunity pass by. The next time there will be a presidential election in the United States, my oldest child, now 6 years old, will be in 5th grade. First grade might be a little young to learn much having to do with the election process and our federal government. However, in my experience, kids often are capable of understanding more than they get credit for.
This set of Montessori-inpired cards features 20 terms related to elections in general and the Unites States presidential election in particular. The terms vary in difficulty from ones that I know my 6 year old can understand, like ballot and president, to more difficult words such as incumbent and caucus.
I even made 4 bonus cards for each of the four 2016 presidential contenders: Donald Trump (Republican), Hillary Clinton (Democrat), Gary Johnson (Libertarian), and Jill Stein (Green Party).
I’m always surprised by how eager my son is to use cards like these to learn information. I know he likes that there’s no writing involved. He also just seems to really like matching in general. Maybe one day he’ll groan when I pull out some new cards for him to learn from, but at the moment, there’s only excitement.
I’m planning to make more material related to the upcoming presidential election. If you’d like to stay informed, please consider signing up for my newsletter!
- Paper for printing U.S. Presidential Election Cards and corresponding control cards. (Note that the last 2 pages of each document do not need to be printed as they just contain legal information regarding sharing and image sources.)
- Paper for printing bonus Presidential Candidates 2016 cards (no need to print the last page)
- 18 thermal laminating pouches
Supplies & Tools:
- Print the U.S. Presidential Election Cards, the corresponding control cards, and the Presidential Candidates 2016 cards
- Laminate them using thermal laminating pouches (optional, could also print on card stock, use contact paper to laminate, or not laminate them at all).
- Cut them out.
See my Montessori-inpired cards page for further details on how to use these cards.
Since my son is so young, I started him off by only going over 8 of the 20 definitions (democracy, president, vice president, election, campaign, debate, political party, and ballot). I’ll add some more as time goes on. Since he’s a fairly new reader, I also didn’t give him the cards with the full definitions on them. Instead, we talked about the definitions while going over the control cards, then he matched the pictures to the words. He tried to do it without referring back to the control cards, but if he got stuck, they were always there for him to refer back to.
Click here for more Government and Civics activities and printables for kids.