Participation is Key: Democracy in the US

Subject: Civics, Social Studies

Lesson Length: 40 - 45 mins

Topic: Democracy

Grade Level: 5

Standards / Framework:

Brief Description: Students will explore ways in which citizens can participate in the democratic process in the United States.

Know Before You Start: Students should understand what a democracy is and that the United States is a Representative Democracy. Students should know the terms: democracy, politics, representative democracy, and democratic process.


  • Read and discuss the sample comic.
  • Have you ever gone with a parent to vote? What was it like?
  • Have you ever participated in a democratic process at school?
  • Lead a discussion about the different ways students can get involved at school.
  • Discuss the similarities and differences between school involvement and citizen involvement in the democratic process of the United States.


  • Using the sample comic as a guide, have students create a one-panel comic illustrating a way they can participate in the democratic process in the United States.


  • Have students print or digitally post their comics. 
  • Have students work together in teams to categorize each participatory activity as something that is done at the local, national, and/or federal levels.


  • Allow students to use the speech-to-text feature.
  • Allow students to work in pairs or groups as needed.
  • Provide visuals and definitions of terms.
  • Display examples of ways students can participate in the democratic process and allow students to choose one to illustrate.
  • Allow students to use the voiceover feature to read their comics aloud.


  • Comic to print or display

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