Politics Definition: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Mary Beth Burns

Mary Beth has taught 1st, 4th and 5th grade and has a specialist degree in Educational Leadership. She is currently an assistant principal.

What do you know about politics? Did you know that you can get involved in politics just by sharing how you feel about something? Come and learn about what politics is, and find examples of political issues and ways of getting involved.

Understanding Politics

Do you enjoy sharing your opinion on different things going on in the world? Do you think it is important for your voice to be heard? Well, then you might enjoy politics, which is defined as a set of beliefs about the laws and things going on in the place where you live. Some politics are on a smaller scale, like the rules in your city, while other politics are on a state or national level.

In a democracy or a republic, like the United States, the citizens are given the right to share their opinions on how the country is running by getting involved in politics. Since there are different people who come from different places and backgrounds, there are also many different sets of beliefs.

In the United States, there are two major political parties, which are groups of like-minded people who tend to agree on most issues. The two parties are the Democrats and the Republicans.

The Democrats are known for believing that the government should become involved in helping people, like saving the environment and providing programs that can help poor people. This is also known as being liberal. The Republicans are known for believing that the federal government shouldn't be involved in solving problems and that it should be left up to the states. This is also known as being conservative. There are also many United States citizens who do not identify with either party. This is known as being an independent.

The symbol for Republican Party is an elephant, and the symbol for Democrat Party is a donkey.
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Examples of Political Issues

There are many issues going on in the world that people hold opposing views on, including environmental issues, military decisions and many other things. For example:

  • Should laws be put into place that will help to decrease global warming? Some people say yes, while others say no because they believe that global warming is just a natural occurrence.
  • Should taxes increase for wealthy people in order to make college less expensive for students? Some people say yes, while other people believe that students should be responsible for paying for their own education.
  • Should immigrants, or people from other counties, be allowed to move to the United States? Some people say yes and that everyone should have the right to the American dream, while others say no because they think that some immigrants may not be law-abiding citizens.

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