What We're Watching: Election Day
Election Day is tomorrow but, because of early voting in many states, over 93 million people have already cast their ballots. The United States is on track toward the highest voter turnout in years. To say 2020 elections—presidential, state, and local—are important is a tremendous understatement and so we thought this was a great opportunity to highlight two excellent documentaries that pull back the curtain to show the nitty gritty reality of political campaigns in America. While it’s critical for civics to be year-round conversation for families, it couldn’t be more topical this week. Last, but certainly not least, if you are of age, don’t forget to vote!
This Week's Recommendations for Younger Viewers
Knock Down the House (2019), directed by Rachel Lears
Recommended for Grades 5+
Available to stream on Netflix
This documentary follows the action of the progressive wave that swept through the 2018 midterm election cycle, including a spotlight on now Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez. It offers an enlightening behind-the-scenes look at how grassroots progressive campaigns get off the ground and unfold by focusing on the primary process.
- Describe what is happening to the political landscape in 2018.
- What do you notice about Alexandria Ocasio Cortez? What kind of candidate is she?
- What do you learn about the grassroots organizations like Justice Democrats and Brand New Congress? How does learning about these kinds of organizations help you understand the election process in the United States?
- What kind of campaign strategies do we see AOC and others implementing? What seems the most effective? Why?
- What do you notice about Paula Jean Swearengin? What kind of candidate is she?
- What do you notice about Cori Bush? What kind of candidate is she?
- What do you notice about Amy Vilela? What kind of candidate is she?
- What is your biggest takeaway from the film? What do you want to know more about?