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Democracy Art Challenge

You’re invited to join the Democracy Art Challenge: this October

Each month TinkerLab hosts a daily art challenge. With the U.S. election around the corner, I’m moved to create a special art challenge to explore democracy with kids and help get out the vote.

An average of 60% of Americans vote in Presidential elections (we can do better!), voting is a U.S. right, every person’s vote matters, and voting is an opportunity for change.

By amplifying our collective voice, we can share and spread a message of hope, decency, integrity, and peace. There are so many ways to do this: phone banking, writing postcards, talking with neighbors, and sharing your message with friends and family. 

Scroll through for notes on how the art challenge works, ideas on how to incorporate this into your month, and a list of resources that connect with the daily words.

Download PDF here

How the challenge works

1. Say “I’m in”. Leave a comment below to let our community know you’re joining this challenge. If you’re on Instagram, join the challenge here.

2. Share this image on your Instagram or Facebook wall to help spread the word. #vote #bettertogether

3. Reflect on what democracy means, interpret words as you like, and exercise your creativity. There are infinite ways to do this. I’ll share tips below.

4. Join in social media by posting a photo of your interpretation of the daily word. Add the hashtag #vote to your post. You can add other hashtags and/or add a hashtag to match the daily word such as #equality

Ideas on how to use the prompts

1. Participate with your child, students, or on your own. Make it your daily practice to reflect on the daily word.

2. Print the word list and prop it up on your dining table, post it to the fridge, or glue it in a sketchbook.

3. If you’re sharing with children, ask if they’ve heard this word before. What does it make them think of? Share your own thoughts with them. Read a picture book, look at a piece of art, share a historical example, or tell a story that relates to the word. 

4. Consider how you’d like to interpret the word. You could take a photograph, make a drawing, write the word in your own font, find a quote that reflects the word’s meaning and illustrate it, share a photograph of a historical moment that reflects the word, write a poem, create a journal entry, etc.

If you’re looking for the classic TinkerSketch October Art Challenge, click the link and join us for that one, too.❤️📆

Resources

If you’re looking for resources that connect with democracy, these are books, artists, and films that are relatable to children, both from in my personal library and those shared by trusted friends. I’ll continue to add to this list over time. If you have other suggestions, please add them in the comments. While these resources may relate to multiple words in th challenge, to make it easy for you to connect the dots, I’ll signpost one word for you to focus on. Note: This list contains affiliate links

Picture Books

Equality: This Book is Anti-racist: 20 Lessons to Wake up, Take Action, and Do the Work, Tiffany Jewel

Election: Grace for President, Kelly diPucchio

Human Rights: Malala: My story for Standing up for Girls’ Rights, Sarah J. Robbins and Malala Yousafzai

Civic:What can a Citizen do? Dave Eggers

Justice: I Dissent, Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark, Debbie Levy

Bravery: When you are Brave, Pat Zietlow Miller. Little Spot of Confidence, Diane Alber.

Empathy: What is Empathy? A Bullying Storybook for Kids, Amanda Morin

Diversity: Just Ask! Be Different, Be Brave, Be You, Sonia Sotomayor

Civil Rights: Civil Rights: Then and Now, Woo! Jr. Kids

Environment: What a Waste: Trash, Recycling, and Protecting our Planet, Jess French.

Film & Video

Democracy: Democracy: A Short Introduction (a short video overview)

Law: Schoolhouse Rock: I’m Just a Bill

Environment: Free Willy. A film about a boy who rescues an Orca from captivity.

Cooperation: Pixie Hollow Games. A short Disney movie with Tinker Bell about the power of teamwork.

Education: On the way to School. A film about four children who travel long distances to reach their school.

Justice: RBG Documentary

Art

Peace: Sister Corita Kent, 1960’s graphic artist and advocate for social justice

Free Speech: Faith Ringgold. Well known for her story quilts, created the Freedom of Speech painting with words from the First Amendment (The Met).

Unity:Amplifier Art amplifies the voices of grassroots movements through art.

Hope: Shepard Fairy, Artist behind the iconic “Hope” poster of President Obama. Fairy’s website.

TinkerLab Schoolhouse Online Art Club for Kids

Engaging kids art classes - from the comfort of home!

You set up the supplies & we'll offer the instruction.

14 Comments

  1. Yes! I love this project!
    The Kumars are in! 🙌

    • Dheeksha, yes! Glad to hear this. ❤️

  2. I wish you would have included resources that either came from a neutral standpoint or viewpoints from both sides of the spectrum. Your resources clearly are directed to one side. No matter my view on politics, I’ll never support an educator who pushes their views on my children, it’s not there place.
    For that reason we won’t be participating.

    • Good Morning Morgan,

      Rachelle very kindly welcomed suggestions for other resources that would enrich this challenge for the Tinkerlab community. Perhaps you could reconsider joining this challenge after all and contribute your neutrally geared resources as you discover them through this daily challenge.
      My family would enjoy discussing alternate points of view.

      Best wishes to you! 🙂

    • Morgan, I’m sorry you feel this way and as Katie shared, I invite you to post other suggestions.

  3. Once again, thank you for using creativity to bring to life and make tangible connections to both the ordinary and extraordinary. Your work is such a special gift to this world!

    I love this challenge! We are in!!

    • Thank you, Katie! I appreciate you.

  4. Hi – I LOVE this challenge and my kids are really excited to participate. My kids aren’t on social media but they really want to share their art with you. Is there a way we could send you a collage at the end of October? My 7 year old kept asking how he could turn it in!

    • Hi Jess, Yes! I’m honored and would love that. I’ll email you with the address ❤️

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