Instant Civics Lesson–Memorial Day & California’s Tuesday Primary Election

Primary ElectionLearning isn’t only in the classroom and for a grade.  Life presents educational opportunities everyday.

Tuesday’s Primary Election can spur conversations about citizenship.  Why is there a Primary election?  Why are voters electing delegates to the party primaries, not the Presidential candidate themselves?  What’s a Proposition?  Why are the voters deciding abut new expenses (i.e. bond measures) and not the legislature?   Parents can talk about their own experiences as voters and why they choose (or not) to vote.

Memorial Day and the sacrifices of service members the holiday honors is another timely lesson to explore with students.  Why do people choose to serve in the military?  Why was the official holiday declared after the Civil War, but didn’t become a Federal holiday until 1971?   What benefits do we have today, from the service members deaths that are honored by Memorial Day?  If we want our students to be thoughtful of others and appreciate their current advantages,  we have opportunities to point out Monday is more than a day off from school.

Make life a “teachable moment.”  If our parents’ and other trusted adults are our primary teachers, why leave civics and citizenship to the classroom?   Plus, if as adults, we don’t know about Primary elections or what Memorial Day symbolizes, what a great opportunity to teach our children that adults don’t always have all the answers and we can learn together.


Jill Yoshikawa, Ed M, is a University of California and Harvard trained educator and Partner at Creative Marbles Consultancy.  She advises families and schools, as they make complex educational choices.  You can contact Jill at or, read her short biography.


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About Jill Yoshikawa, Ed M, Partner of Creative Marbles Consultancy

Jill Yoshikawa, EdM, Harvard ’99, a seasoned, 25 year educator and consultant, is meticulous in helping clients navigate all aspects of the educational experience, no matter the level of complexity. She combines educational theory with experience to advise families, schools and educators. A UCSD and Harvard graduate, as well as a former high school teacher, Jill works tirelessly to help her clients succeed.
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