"Elect a Class President"
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The students will participate in
the election of a class president and vice-president. We will talk about
the qualities a good leader should have, and about the national presidential
race. Then, they will nominate four students for each office, and then vote
for the student they would like to win.
It is imperative that we teach students about the process of voting,
because it is the underpinning of democracy in this country. Especially
because it is an election year, they will be hearing a lot about the topic
from their family, friends, and even the media. This lesson will give them
a chance to understand some of the terms they might be hearing, and give
them a strong foundation for future learning. Reading the book “Duck for
President” about a duck running for office will give them background about
the subject in a familiar format while promoting literacy and reading. The
students will be engaged and excited while nominating and voting for the
class president and vice-president. Finally, creating small “I Voted” signs
will give them a chance to be creative while still learning to follow
The students have gotten to know each other over the past month and a
half, so they will be able to identify the students that embody the
qualities of a good leader; we will discuss the qualities prior to the
nominations. Additionally, because of the pervasive nature of the national
election, it is reasonable to assume that students will have some awareness
of the election, or the candidates.
New Jersey Core
Curriculum Content Standards
6.2:D.1 - Citizenship 1. Identify examples of responsible citizenship in the
Language Arts & Literacy:
3.3:A.1 - A. Discussion 1. Share experiences and express ideas.
3.4: B.1 - Listening Comprehension 1. Listen attentively to books teacher
reads to class.
Big idea: Why vote, and who deserves my vote
SWBAT use the vocabulary words vote, candidate, and ballot in the context of
a class election for president.
SWBAT identify the characteristics a good leader should have, and
participate in the voting process.
We will read a book to the students called “Duck for President”
Activities, Questions &
While we are reading
the book, we will ask the following questions:
Why doesn’t Farmer Brown smell very good? What is an election? (when you
pick a new leader) What does it mean to vote? (every person’s choice gets
counted) “What is a ballot?” (How you write down your vote) Farmer Brown
got 6 votes and Duck got 21 votes, who got more votes? Who won? What are
ballots? Who do you think one, the governor or Duck? What is the president
in charge of? (the country) Who do you think won, Duck or the President?
After the book is
finished, we will ask the students where else they heard of a president. On
the news, from their parents? Do they know the name of the president?
Then, we will talk about President Bush and John Kerry, and say that they
both want to be President, and they are trying to get people to vote for
them. Then, we will talk about what it means to vote (their opinion is
written down and counted). We will explain that when they are 18 years old,
they will be able to vote for the president of the country, but for now they
will vote for president of the class. But before we vote, we will talk
about the qualities a class president should have. “Should the class
president be absent all the time?” “Or should they be here, and pay
attention.” “Should the class president be smart? Kind? Helpful?
After this discussion, we
will ask the students to go back to their seats so we can begin the voting
process. First, we will explain that they need to choose four students (2
girls, 2 boys) for president, and four students (2 girls, 2 boys) for
vice-president. We will explain to the students that they need to raise
their hands in order for their choices to count. We will put the students’
names on our chart, and then show the students the ballots. This is where
you write down your vote, so it will be counted. We will model how to fill
out a ballot with a candidate’s name, using the charts as guidance. We will
make sure the students understand that they can only write down the name of
a student that was nominated. Then, we will pass out the ballots and have
the students fill them out. We will ask them to do this quickly, because
they will only have a limited amount of time. After they are finished
filling out the ballots, we will collect them, and then begin to model how
to make the “I Voted” signs.
Each student will be
given a straw and a piece of paper that they can fold over and attach to the
straw with glue. We will instruct the students to write “I Voted” on the
signs, and then to decorate the sign however they like. They can make
flags, stars, donkeys, elephants, etc. in order to decorate their signs.
When they are finished designing their signs, we will distribute the glue,
and the students will fold the paper over onto the straw, and attach both
sides of the paper using the glue.
While the students are
working on their signs, one of us will count the ballots and write the
results next to the names of the students on the chart. When the students
are finished with their craft, we will announce the new president and
vice-president of the class.
After we announce the winners, we will tell the students that they
should be proud that they voted, because voting is extremely important in
our country. They made the signs so they can show their family’s that they
We will have the names of the nominated students displayed on a poster
in the front of the class, so the students can copy the names themselves.
This will give us a chance to walk around the room and help any student that
is having trouble writing, or is unsure of what to do.
We could make a graph with the students, representing the number of
votes for the different candidates. Also, the students could participate in
another voting activity to name the class fish. The students can write
their suggestions, and then draw and present them to the class.