Municipal Election Lesson 5 - Local Election Issues
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Municipal Election Lesson 5 - Local Election Issues

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This is lesson five of seven about municipal elections that I developed and proposed for Student Vote. ...

This is lesson five of seven about municipal elections that I developed and proposed for Student Vote.

This lesson requires students to investigate the identify, propose, and investigate local election issues.

Please refer to Municipal Election Lessons Additional Resources for references and supporting information.

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Municipal Election Lesson 5 - Local Election Issues Municipal Election Lesson 5 - Local Election Issues Document Transcript

  • Big Idea:Informed participation in local government both stimulates and upholds the principles ofdemocracy.Essential Question:What are the characteristics of an informed Canadian citizen participating in a municipal election orschool board election?Election Issues in Your Municipality & School BoardKnowledge of local municipal or education issues and candidates’ proposed solutions to theseissues is crucial for identifying which candidate best reflects a personal vision for the community’sfuture.Hook 5-10 min.Using the provided resources, describe the importance of credibility, source, and bias whencollecting information about election issues.Essential Learning 30-40 min.1. Define the term “issue,” and discuss the importance of issues during an election. Propose how elections might be decided if there were no issues to discuss.2. Using Handout 5.1 and the resources provided by your teacher, highlight potential issues in the upcoming municipal and school board elections in your community. Identify patterns in the issues you discover in order to summarize the election issues for both campaigns.3. Revisit the resources provided, and identify the most credible sources of information regarding each of the issues that you listed, keeping in mind the source and possible bias of each resource. What additional questions do you have about each issue? Brainstorm possible sources of information that could help you to answer your questions about a particular issue.4. From this set of activities, review what you have discussed and learned about understanding election issues.Extended Learning 20-30 min.Option A:Over the course of the municipal and school board election campaigns, add personally significantnews articles and campaign materials to your portfolio. Using Handout 5.2, briefly describe theinformation acquired from each item and how this information has added to your understanding ofa particular issue. Use this collection of election news to identify at least two election issues thatare most important to you.Option B:Invite a panel of involved members of your community (ex. school council members, Block Parentrepresentatives, seniors’ residence representatives, athletics conveners, homeowners’ associationpresident, spiritual leaders) to visit your class or walk with your class through your school orcommunity to highlight needs for the municipality or school board. Compile the information youtake from the meeting and share the results in a creative, unbiased format that can be viewed bymembers of the public.Option C:Evaluate the amount of news coverage that is being regularly dedicated to the municipal andschool board election campaigns in your community or to a local election issue of personalsignificance. If a news provider or community group is providing valuable coverage of theelections, compose a letter commending the provider. If a news provider or community group is
  • providing sporadic or biased coverage of the elections, compose a letter criticizing the source andoffering suggestions for improving coverage of the elections.Option D:Select an election issue of personal significance, and list the groups of people in your communitywho will be affected by the resolution of the issue. (ex. Library funding) Using Handout 5.3, brieflydescribe how a particular solution would affect each of the different groups, (ex. Decreasing libraryfunding: tax payers would see reduction in taxes; library goers would experience reduced hours;librarian jobs might be reduced; empty library parking lot available for neighbourhood road hockeyclub) and use this information to defend whether you believe this is an appropriate course of actionto take regarding this issue. Consider using this exercise to examine the campaign promises of aparticular candidate or to examine how your own proposal would affect your community.Key Termsanalysis; bias; credibility; fact; issue; opinion; point of view; significance; source; wedge issueEssential QuestionsWhat are the issues in my community?Where can I get reliable information about these issues?What issues am I concerned about?Teacher PreparationLocate and prepare class appropriate examples of advertising using celebrities to highlight conceptof credibility for hook activityLocate and prepare class appropriate examples of advertising using the approval of a professionalassociation (ex. chewing gum approved by the Canadian Dental Association) to highlight concept ofsource for hook activityLocate and prepare class appropriate examples of wireless provider claims advertising the best,fastest, or most reliable network to highlight the concept of bias for hook activityLocate and prepare class appropriate examples of local election material for hook activitySelect teaching strategies for essential learning activitiesLocate local news articles, campaign materials, web and print commentary about the municipal andschool board elections in your community for essential learning activities (see chapter on AdditionalResources for links to Ontario school boards and municipalities and to Google Alerts)Make class copies of required handoutsOrganize meeting with members of community, if desiredBook computer lab, if desiredPreview websites to be used for class activities, if desired (see chapter on Additional Resources)AssessmentStudents should provide evidence that they have the ability to identify and articulate electionissues of local importance and that they have the ability to critically analyze information in order todevelop an informed, multifaceted view of election issues.
  • Handout 5.1: Discovering Key Election IssuesUsing the news and campaign resources provided by your teacher, highlight potential issues in theupcoming municipal and school board elections in your community. Identify patterns in the issuesyou discover in order to summarize the election issues for both campaigns. Election Article Title & Important Key Ideas & Municipal / School Source Information Potential Issues Board View slide
  • Handout 5.2: New Information About My Important Election IssuesSelect an election article and briefly describe the information that you have acquired from thisarticle and how this information has added to your understanding of an election issue that isimportant to you.Title of Article:Author of Article: Source of Article:Pages Read: Purpose for Reading: Most Important Ideas and Information Least Important Ideas and InformationKey Idea from This Article:This article has added to my understanding of the election because… View slide
  • Handout 5.3: Perspectives on an Election IssueSelect an election issue of personal significance, and list the groups of people in your communitywho will be affected by the resolution of the issue. Propose a solution to the election issue andbriefly describe how a particular solution would affect each of the different groups, and use thisinformation to defend whether you believe this is an appropriate course of action to take regardingthis issue.Election Issue: Proposed Solution:Citizen Groups in the Community How Groups are Affected By ProposalI think that this IS / IS NOT an appropriate solution for my community because…