Our Election Project

By Jenna Richter | November 16, 2016 | Uncategorized

We have been working for weeks on our Election Project.  We started out learning vocabulary words including democracy, debate, election, electoral college, candidate and platform.

One day we learned about the duties of the president and acted them out. We appointed a new justice to the Supreme Court, had a diplomatic meeting with France about whether orange or purple was better, we vetoed a law banning boys from eating ice cream.  We then held an intense debate about olives or no olives and allowed the class to vote.  We even worked with the concept of the electoral college and students saw what happened when the electors did not represent their groups and olives lost the election even though they won the popular vote 8 to 4!

Over the following weeks, we did electoral college math, using snap cubes to figure out which combinations of states could get us to the magic number 270. In our math groups, children selected a state and built the number of votes out of snap cubes.  We could easily compare states and their votes this way.

Each lenght of snap cubes represented a different states number of electorall votes.
Each length of snap cubes represented a different states number of electorall votes.

 

When we estimated that we had enough to get to 270, we regrouped the cubes by tens and counted while Liam did the addition on the white board.

We didn't make it to 270 in our first try.
We didn’t make it to 270 in our first try.

 

At our next round students worked to get any combination that would get us to 52. Louie is charting all the different combinations.
At our next round, students worked to get any combination that would get us to 52 which was what we still needed to get to 270. Louie is charting all the different combinations.

 

During music class, Kyle taught the kids the song, “I Can Vote” and then practiced it with cowbells, drums and a tambourine.  The students also used their artistic abilities to create impressions of the American flag paintings to enhance our voting booth.  They also made some get out to vote signs.

Harlow and his "Vote" sign.
Harlow and his “Vote” sign.

 

Our impressions of the American flag.
Our impressions of the American flag.

 

As the election drew near, I explained initiatives to the class.  We talked about how citizens can take a part in creating laws by getting thier inititaives on the ballot.  We were able to come up with three.  The Field Trip Initiative, Academic Free Choice (sponsored by Finn and Emery) and the Free Choice Initiative (sponsored by Van).  The students also wanted to vote for president.

Our ballot.
Our ballot.

 

We learned about and selected jobs for election day including judges, clerk, marshal, ballot box decorator, and official counter. Ballot box design was a collaboration of four students.

 

Van, Ramona, Marie Sabine and Emery collaborating.
Van, Ramona, Marie Sabine and Emery collaborating.

 

Students were given the opportunity to learn to sign their name in cursive which many did.

Boden perfecting his signature to be able to sign in at the poling place.
Boden perfecting his signature to be able to sign in at the poling place.

img_1308

 

On the big day, our election officials were in two shifts so that everyone could particpate in voting and working at the polling place.

Our polling place team in place and ready to open the polls to voters.
Our polling place team in place and ready to open the polls to voters.

 

3rd grader Liam helping Ramona sign in while Kindergartner Marie Sabine looks for her voter registration.
3rd grader Liam helping Ramona sign in while Kindergartner Marie Sabine looks for her voter registration.

 

Louie reading the initiatives to Boden.
Louie reading the initiatives to Boden.

 

Kindergartner Emery in the booth with her ballot.
Kindergartner Emery in the booth with her ballot.

 

Once everyone had voted,  Camden, Boden and I went out into to hall to count and recount the votes.

These two were sworn to secrecy until after recess.
These two were sworn to secrecy until after recess.

 

All of our initiatives passed and we elected Hillary Clinton as our president.