Engage Kids and Democracy!

This year has shown us why social studies class is so important!

From a controversial election season to a violent mob storming the Capitol to a historic second presidential impeachment, this is a year like no other in U.S. politics.

Children are going to have a lot of questions and opinions for their caretakers and teachers about what’s going on at state and federal levels of government, and it’s our job as adults to explain current events in terms they can understand, and to emphasize the history that brought us to this point. What is democracy? What is the mob protesting? Who gets to decide who is president? What do all of the governmental processes accomplish?

This is a long conversation–a whole social studies unit!–that can’t be accomplished in one day, but getting a better idea of democracy is an important first step.

Nomad author Julie Knutson makes it easier with her book, Global Citizenship: Engage in the Politics of a Changing World. Through activities and research projects, teens are encouraged to think about civil rights around the world and their own roles in protecting those rights. Take a look at the video series Julie created in collaboration with the Coalition of Civically Engaged Educators.

Watch these videos to start the conversation and check out Julie’s book for more ways of engaging kids!

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