Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Social Studies Rocks: Mock Election

A Message From Your Friendly Neighborhood Social Studies Teacher

This is a message from your friendly neighborhood social studies teacher reminding you to vote in the upcoming election or any election that might be happening in your respective country/state/province/city/village. If the students of Shishmaref can vote, you can too.


The Shishmaref Mock Election was school-wide, but it was kind of sponsored by my older kids. We started by making posters to hang in the elementary school hallway.


The posters featured facts about each candidate and posters cut up from five months worth of news magazines. (Hey Shishmaref Library and fellow teachers! Thanks for letting me steal all of your magazines!) Since we get enough negative advertising in the actual media, I insisted that the posters all be positive, much to the disappointment of my students.


You may be noticing quite a few McCain posters. That's only because I made my kids draw names out of a basket. They were forced to make a poster for the candidate they drew. (It's not a secret: I'm mean.)


Otherwise, all of the posters would be like this (my kids are nutty for Obama). Notice the obligatory Biden mention. Ha! It's a nice representation of the percentage of real news coverage he gets. (Note to readers: do not interpret that as a Biden bash. It's simply commentary of his non-domination of campaign coverage.)


My big kids were the poll workers. When the other kids came in, they had to sign their names on the "voter rolls." If they hadn't filled out a registration form earlier in the week, they had to do that before they voted. (The second question on the mock registration form was: Are you at least five years old? Ha!)


The city let us borrow their voting booths and ballot boxes, which made things feel really official. The IRA let us borrow one of their buildings, so all of the kids got to leave school to come vote.

The tiniest kids had to stand on chairs to reach the voting booth. My big kids helped them fill out their ballots (anybody caught coercing an elementary student to vote for a certain candidate was threatened with the wrath of Angie).


The kiddos put their completed ballots in the ballot box.


My older kids voted too, but, let's face it,


they are straight up not as cute a the little guys, especially when the little guys have to stand on their tippy-toes to reach the box.

(Note to my students: I still heart you!)


We made stickers to give to all of the students that voted.


Some of my big kids decided it would be cool to put their stickers on their foreheads...


starting an epidemic of little kids who also put their stickers on their foreheads.


I have to admit, it was kinda cute.


Don't you just want to take this girl home? I do. Unfortunately, her mom and dad like her a lot too...


This little girl took things to the next level.


I let my big kids tally the votes. They learned what it was like to be an election judge (what if somebody circled Barack Obama and Sarah Palin?) and had to determine when to disqualify ballots. It's too bad we didn't have punch out ballots. Then I could have introduced them to the intricacies of chad. As you can see, we used the highly scientific method of tally marks.


We found this ballot when we were counting ballots. I laughed. This pretty much sums up the sentiment of most of my students.

When all the votes were counted the results were as follows:

House of Representatives: Don Young (Republican)

United States Senate: Ted Stevens (Republican)

President of the United States: John McCain (Republican)

My big kids were furious. They blamed the results on the elementary students and suggested that we do the vote without them next time. I tried to explain why it wouldn't be fair to disenfranchise over half of our school, but I don't think they bought into it. Maybe that's a lesson for next year...


hollylynn said...

This is the coolest! You're a rad teacher. Jealous.

Breezi said...

Those little kids are the cutest ever. No wonder why you love it up there! (aside from the freezing cold!)
I'm excited/nervous for this election:
Excited because: it will be interesting, I live in a swing state and my vote actually counts, it will mean the stop to all of these stupid tv commercials.
Nervous: Because I think neither candidate is the right person, people will elect the wrong person, I live in a fairly democratic area, where when I voted in the spring and they asked if I was a democrat or republican, and I said republican... the poll guy said "ohh, I'm so sorry that you feel that way". (and he didn't want to give me a voting booth)

long story short: I wish I could sell my vote on Ebay this year, because you can't pick a bad from a bad. might as well make some money off of it! haha.

Jilene said...

What a great way to get kids excited about being able to vote! It looks like they had a lot of fun with it. (Love the pics of all the little kidos.) Eli probably had a meltdown because I made him wear a vest to church again. :)

Karma said...

What a project! Very nice job.

Wes Harris said...

That was an awesome assignment! Talk about getting in to it.

Wes Harris said...
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Keith and Meghan said...

This is GREAT!!! My second graders also had a mock election! I wasn't on top of things enough to take pictures---bummer. It was hilarious how excited they were about it, and out of all the 2nd graders (72 in all) Obama won by 4 votes. I think they just love to say his name (it is pretty fun to say), or maybe they have just heard their parents talk about him...who knows. Of course mine was not as elaborate as yours... I had a make shift voting booth and the ballot box was an old kleenex box wrapped in red paper. I did have stickers though and apparently all kids think alike because mine also stuck them on their faces---way more exciting than on shirts! You are such a fun teacher, I love reading your blog! Have fun on your exchange!