LEARN NC was a program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education from 1997 – 2013. It provided lesson plans, professional development, and innovative web resources to support teachers, build community, and improve K-12 education in North Carolina. Learn NC is no longer supported by the School of Education – this is a historical archive of their website.

Teaching elections with the Mini Page Archive

buttons from Ronald Reagan's various campaigns

Teaching elections with the Mini Page Archive

By Summer Pennell

Provided by UNC Libraries / Southern Historical Collection

The Mini Page was created by North Carolina native and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill alumna Betty Debnam. Ms. Debnam worked as both a journalist and an elementary school teacher, and brought that experience to her creation, making a publication just for kids. It was first published in 1969, and has been published weekly ever since. The Mini Page brings the news and other topics such as science, world culture, American history and politics, health and more to elementary students, as well as their parents and teachers. The Mini Page also includes fun features such as recipes, puzzles, and jokes. Though the Mini Page is catered to K-5 students, this resource has limitless potential for K-12 educators.

For her work, Debnam won the North Carolina Award and the Newspaper Association of America Lifetime Achievement Award and was inducted into the North Carolina Journalism Hall of Fame, the Newspapers in Education Hall of Fame, and the Association of Educational Publishers Hall of Fame. The online archive, spanning from 1969 to 2007, is available free through the UNC libraries at http://www.lib.unc.edu/dc/minipage/.

This guide for third, fourth, and fifth grade teachers suggests activities and resources for using the Mini Page Archive to teach elections. Through these activities, students will learn more about political parties in the United States, how the Electoral College works, and what the process of an election looks like.

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