Sunday, November 6, 2016

Election Day Activities

Well it's November and the presidential election is mere days away. I don't know about you, but this election has me feeling like a deflated balloon the day after a birthday party. I am normally super pumped to teach my students about elections, voting, the three branches of government, and our civic duty, but this election and these candidates have me walking on egg shells. 
Despite my lackluster feelings about our two major party candidates, I do believe it's important to embrace the crazy and stress the importance of voting to our students. We're raising, teaching, and molding the next generation of voters. So here's a few ways we're tackling the election in my classroom.

Y'all BrainPOP Jr. is my go to for introducing any new concept or skill. To begin our discussion on the presidential election, we watched the President video. 
Annie and Moby taught us the history about why we have a president, what the job of the president is, and who can become the president. I'm thinking the idea of Moby for President might not be too terrible!

Our school has a subscription to Scholastic News and this month's edition had a great section all about voting. 
The article sparked a great discussion about the serious responsibility of voting and why we should always be respectful of other's opinions. I work at a school with a lot of diversity and a large ESL population. Our ESL para professional was able to share her unique perspective on the election since in her home country they don't share the same freedoms as we do in America. I was nervous about discussing the candidates with my students, but they actually seemed very open to discuss in a respectful manner after reading the article. We also took some time to discuss third parties and how it's okay to not choose either one of the major party candidates.

In previous years, I've held mock elections in my classroom. At my new school the whole school participates. One of our amazing para professionals put together this fantastic voting booth with the help of some of our third graders.
(I feel like judgy George Washington is looking down on the candidates with disdain.)

The third graders also served as poll workers. 
They gave all of the kids a ticket to vote with inside the voting booth. 
Then another poll worker handed out I voted stickers to each of the kids who placed a vote.
They really did have a blast, and we got through the whole process with no conflict about the candidates. They really took to heart the discussions we had previously about how lucky we are to live in America where we can all have our own opinions.

After we returned to class from voting, my students each posted a selfie of them and their I voted sticker to their ClassDojo student story. 
They included a caption to tell their parents about their experience voting or what they learned about elections.

I voted stickers only last one day, but brag tags are a way for my students to remember the experience through out the year. Each student that voted also received an I voted brag tag to add to their necklaces. You can grab my election day brag tag freebies here.

Overall, even though this election might be a let down for those of us whose votes actually pick the president, I think it's still a fun and exciting time for our students. So like I said earlier, let's all just embrace the crazy for our students and cross our fingers that our country will be okay come November 9th! If you want to save this post for future elections or want to share the post with other teachers you can save the image below to your Pinterest boards! Hugs, kisses, and tell your mom and 'dem I said hey!


  1. i really love how your blog is so colorful. apart from that it is so nice to see the kinds actually learn something important out of the amazing activity. you seem to be doing amazing job. keep working hard

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