From This American Life and NPR (National Public Radio), their January 14 episode entitled “Kid Politics” investigates what happens when we turn over responsibility for governing and making the big decisions to kids. When a group of 5th graders take over the White House to re-enact the U.S.-led invasion of Grenada in 1983, will they make the same decisions that the Reagan Administration did? Or, will chaos ensue when students are given the power to call meetings and vote in or out all policies and rules at a school in Brooklyn, New York? An episode definitely worth listening to.
- Use one or more of the topics discussed as a spring-board for starting a variety of conversations and/or debates with students.
- Re-enactment can be a great mode for getting students to interact with lesson content. Find a current events topic that is of interest to you and your students and have them re-enact the events. Will they make the same choices and decisions as the adults did? Could they find a better way?