Posted by: Jenni
Four years ago, I held a mock election with my kindergarten class. I had a picture of each canidate and some important facts about each president, such as favorite food, type of pet, family, and where they live. We talked about how voting is a private matter, and how you don't vote how your friends do. I set up a voting booth in our classroom with little ballots and each student got a chance to vote for president. We then calculated the votes with tally charts and a graph.
Recently, one of those kindergartners came to my classroom, she is now a fourth grader, and we were talking about what she remembered from kindergarten. She said she remembered voting, even who she voted for. I would highly recommed having your kids vote for the president. Then they have a buy in to the real election. There is also a program called Kids Voting USA that has lesson plans for all the grade levels that deal with the election. You can check out the sample activities, which are free to download at:
Click on Teachers only and then go to the For Other Teachers section and click on the blue Civics Alive link.
I hope this is helpful. We are going to try and get my whole school to do a mock election this year. What fun!
Posted by: Cassandra Larson
A fellow teacher is doing an interesting unit on the election of 1912 and I think some of his elements will work for you. He is dividing his class into groups: group for each candidate and a CNN group. The candidate groups will have to conduct a race for election. The CNN group is to report on the election. You could easily have your students do the CNN portion.
This summer I went to a workshop and we had to create a candidate to run for a public office and you could have your kids do something like that as well.
Posted by: Britt
We had a "Candy bar election" in our class. The kids nominated 5 and then our primary election brought it to 3 candidates. The kids made posters and election ribbons/buttons to wear to campaign for their candidate. We made a voting booth in the closet with a ballot box and ballots. The kids had voter registration cards that I made. Whichever bar wins, I will bring in a snack size for everyone. The kids loved it and it helped them understand the voting process.
Posted by: cathy
I am also doing an election theme that relates to symbolism, themes, critical stance. They make a flag using index cards and write what america means to them. It can be a drawing, word, quote or phrase. The index cards are the white stripes. I put red background paper up on the BB and blue paper and put their names in the stars. The index cards become the white stripes and the red paper the red stripes I also make dockeys and elephants and have them put a "platform" or position and decorate the party animal. You could write something like Welcome "party" animals! haha. You could have them make their own part or animal to as independents I also have them make windsocks using construciton paper and crepe paper. They decorate the crepe paper to look like a flag and attach crepe aper to the bottom of the paper. fold like a tube, do not crease and staple or tape, then hole punch the top and hang to ceiling. let me know if this helps
Mock election procedure
Posted by: Carol
We spent about a week prior to election familiarizing students with candidates and platforms. How each teacher did this varied. On election day, every child was taken during their social studies period to voting booth (my supervising teacher's classroom). At the end of the day we announced results. Someone designed a computer program that counted and saved student choices to disk, so we were able to do it electronically. I thought it was fun and effective. Some of the kids were very passionate about their choice.
Posted by: Corinne
The school that I am teaching in we are having the children vote for their favorite books. The students make their own election pins that say, "Vote for Reading" or "Vote for Books." Our students made the pins on the computer, but it can easily be made as a craft. Also, we explained the election process to them.
Posted by: Dena
I am setting up a mock election for the third grade. I have two stuff animals that are going to be running for third grade president. The teachers will do the campaigning for them and the students will vote on which stuff animal will be third grade president. When I get together with the other 3rd grade teachers we are going to discuss what the issues of each stuff animal will be.
Posted by: Cathy
I did this a couple of years ago with my six graders when I was student teaching and will do this again this year. I taught the students about political issues, platforms, political party etc. They got in groups and made a poster of their platform or issue they would like their president to have or what they would address if they were president. I then had them present these in class. Then they picked the party they wanted to belong to. I had cut out elephants and donkeys in blue, red and white. They then decorated these with sticker stars and glitter and put the presidential candidate they wanted to vote for. on another piece of white paper the same size of the elephant or donkey they wrote a small paragraph on why it is important to vote or a platform they felt was important. this was stapled underneath the elephant or donkey at the top so it could open. Put these on the BB and call it "We are Party Animals". I also made windsocks with them and put these up in the room. The windsocks were construction and crepe paper.
20 Activities and Resources
Posted by: 7/8 Teacher
Here are a few ideas...
1) 3 Branches of Government Hanger Mobile-from Super Social Studies Quick and Easy Activities, Games, and Manips. Scholoastic.
2) Election Bingo- I think from Education World.com.
3) Illustrate the Election Process...the Steps to Presidency.
4) Education World has a great set of lessons on Editorial Cartoons. Explain them, show samples, analyze, and create your own.
5) www.whitehouse.gov has a bio on G. W. Bush and his stance on various issues. Of course, Kerry's are there, too.
6) Election Trivia/Jeopardy/Bingo
7) Electoral Vs. Popular vote
8) Outline history of Voting
9) America Votes is a good resource for your age group. Also, You Want Women to Vote, Lizzie Stanton..
10) Create an Election 2004 book or magazine.
11) Great resources:: Electing the President: Dandy Lion Pub., Candidates, Campaigns and Elec scholastic; Spotlight on America : Elections Teacher Created Materials; Electing Our President Instructional Fair.
12) Hail to the Chief...Good picture book
13) So, You Want to be President....good book
14) Don't Know Much About the Presidents...daily triva
15) Mr. President: A Book of US Presidents
16) Ask Me Anything About the Presidents by Louis Phillips
17) How to Be President : What do Do and Where to Go Once YOu're in Office...by Stephen P. Williams....cool facts
18) Symbols....learn the symbols for Rep. and Dem. and create new ones.
19) Slogans...See the 2005 Kids' Almanac for past slogans...create a slogan for one of the candidates today.
20) Reader's Digest..May 2004..Word Power..George Washington and Reader's Digest Challenge...Presidential Trivia...
Good Luck and have fun!!
Posted by: teachfla
We decided to combine the presidential election into one of our required SS units on American Government. For the voting section of our unit, we are using lots of activities from the Election teacher's book put out by Scholatic. We read "Duck for President" (stars duck from "Click, Clack, Moo" and "Giggle, Giggle, Quack.") I bought a super kids' book called "Vote" from Scholastic, too, that goes quite in-depth about how the election process works (including recounts -- so important here in Florida!)
We are creating election time lines (showing how long an election really takes), doing a Venn Diagram about the basic platforms each candidate is running on, and filling out voter registration forms so we can vote in our school-wide election on Nov. 2. On the school's morning news program, the 5th graders have been sharing each candidate's take on issues like the environment and education.
One of my team-mates shared a great copy-and-color book about elections from Copycat magazine that we are also using. They're online. We're also taking this time to discuss persuasive writing (Author's Purpose), and we'll be doing a writing piece encouraging people to vote.
I'd love to hear other ideas!
Posted by: silvercat323
When I taught fifth grade, I realized that students really didn't know much about any of our past Presidents. So for our election unit, I had students actually research a former President. Then they had to campaign as that President. I split the class in half and assigned political parties, and we had primary elections. They wrote speeches as that President, and their platform was The Bill of Rights. The winners of the political parties ran for President. It was funny because I had Jimmy Carter running against John Adams. But it was a fun project, and they learned about the election procedures and former Presidents.