Over the last week, 241 Chase Street students in 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades participated in a mock election in the library to determine our school’s choice for the next President of the United States.
Before voting, students used various videos, websites, and interactive activities to learn about the election process, about how candidates campaign for votes, and about the the two main candidates, Democratic President Barack Obama and Republican Governor Mitt Romney.
To make the process as similar as possible to adults’ experiences on election day, students waited in line to cast their votes via a secret computer ballot, and they were not allowed to campaign or discuss the candidates in line.
So, which candidate was our students’ choice for President?
President Barack Obama won with 215 votes (89.2%), with Governor Mitt Romney earning 26 votes (10.8%).
Students in PreK, Kindergarten, and 1st grade also learned about Election Day in the library last week but did not vote in the mock election. (Just like in real life, there was an age limit so that eligible voters could hopefully be as informed as possible before casting their ballots. :))
Did I share with students which candidate will get my vote on Election Day tomorrow?
No, because I wanted students to form their own opinions without being swayed by my own. (But, from students’ comments and questions during our Election Day lessons, I could tell that many of them had, as you would expect, been influenced by the ideology of their parents or other adult role models.)
Here’s a quick rundown of how each grade level prepared for Election Day:
- PreK read Doreen Cronin’s Duck for President:
- Kindergarten, 1st grade, and 2nd grade read and watched videos about the election process using Scholastic’s digital editions of Let’s Find Out and Scholastic News magazines
- 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students used a variety of resources that I compiled on the Chase Street Mock Election Website, including a Scholastic News Video about the election, PBS Kids’ Voting Time Machine to explore voters’ rights through history, 270 to Win to learn about the Electoral College, and a variety of campaign videos and advertisements to learn more about the candidates’ views on issues and plans for America (we also discussed how they used music and powerful imagery to elicit emotional responses from viewers)
Many other schools have held their own mock elections–check out these schools’ voting on Google News.
Who will win in the real election? It’s a close race! We will have to wait until all the votes are turned in tomorrow on Election Day to find out. (Or longer, in the case of a tie or a recount.) Watch the news tomorrow night and see our representative democracy in action.