Surfing the Net with Kids: Elections

Surfing the Net with Kids: Elections

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October 17, 1999

Dear Readers,

Welcome back. What’s on the calendar this week? It’s
almost Halloween. Try some Ghost Stories or Skeletons & Anatomy.
October 31 is also the anniversary of Harry Houdini’s death
and National Magic Day.

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Because a democracy is a government led by its people, voting to elect
our leaders is a vital responsibility. As next year’s presidential
election is just twelve months away, here are some online resources for
learning about the American political process and keeping up with the

Guide to Campaign Definitions


From "Absentee Voting: a method of voting which
enables registered voters to vote in a given election without physically
going to the polls" to "Straw Poll: a non-official,
non-scientific study of voter preferences", C-SPAN in the Classroom
defines nearly forty common campaign terms. But don’t stop here. Roam
around the rest of the Campaign 2000 site for a searchable archive of
political video and audio, lesson plans and live C-SPAN broadcasts.

in American Memory


"The American system of elections grew out of intense debate and
discussion in the Constitutional Convention. The debate was finally
resolved when the Constitution was ratified in 1788. In its last major act
following ratification, the Continental Congress scheduled the first
federal elections." This online Library of Congress collection reviews
the history of voting in America, with links to source documents such as
political posters and recorded debates.

Iz and Auggie go to the


This Headbone adventure for grades four through eight incorporates
Internet research and American government. The Iz and Auggie story line is
presented in comic strip format, with a research puzzle at the end of each
episode. In order to solve the puzzle, access to Ask Jeeves for Kids is
integrated into the game. If you get stuck, there are hints to help you but
using them will lower your score. Plan on each of the seven episodes taking
about fifty minutes.

NewsHour: Who Will Be the Next President?


"Competition between people who want to be the next president of the
United States is heating up, even though the election season is still
months away." This article ( a "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer Special
for Students") introduces the Democratic, Republican, and independent
candidates. For those that want to dig deeper, links are provided to
additional news stories, candidate sites, and voter organizations.

Project Vote Smart:
Introduction to US Government


This concise civics course, with emphasis on the political process,
covers both federal and state governments. But that’s not all you’ll find
at the extensive Project Vote Smart ("Knowledge is the source of all
power") site. "This national non-partisan, non-profit effort
researches, tracks and provides to the public independent factual
information on over 13,000 candidates and elected officials. Voting
records, campaign issue positions, performance evaluations by special
interests, campaign contributions, backgrounds, previous experience, and
contact information are available."

Surfing the Calendar

Martin Luther King receives
Nobel Prize

Oct 14, 1964
Edison invents the
incandescent light bulb

Oct 21, 1879
Harry Houdini’s

Oct 31, 1926
Halloween Ghost

Oct 31, 1999
National Magic

Oct 31, 1999
Chats & Net Events

Related Book
(in association with

Presidential Elections

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Copyright © 1999 Barbara J.

Surfing the Net with Kids