Are you gearing up for the upcoming election? I’m not sure how excited I am about the REAL election but I am thrilled to share with you how my first graders will be learning the election process.
We are going to begin the day after Halloween. I have already started setting up things around the room and the children are getting super excited! My comprehension strategy for the week is COMPARE & CONTRAST. I tell you this because you will notice that we do it a lot.
On Day 1 we read the mini book I wrote called “What is an Election?” This introduces the children to the whole big idea. After reading I tell the children that we will be holding our own election in the classroom. We will be electing a class MASCOT. I have two candidates, Freddy the Frog and Oscar the Dog. We compare the two candidates using the Venn Diagram. We are only comparing them on looks and what we know about frogs and dogs, no facts yet. Finally on day 1 we register to vote. I let them know that each morning when they come in, there will be something to vote on. We will practice voting, tallying, counting, and choosing all week. They get really excited about this.
On Day 2 we learn about surveys. I teach the children that this is an easy way to get to know your candidates. We survey both Freddy and Oscar. You can see my little cards above. We fill out the survey together using the cards provided. When we complete the compare and contrast page above. I purposely made some of the answers the same and some different. Finally, in writing I read “Otto Runs for President”. We write an opinion piece on who we would vote for from the story. It is a super cute book, perfect for elections.
Day 3 is probably the most fun day for the students. In guided reading we read Grace for President. We complete the digging deeper page and the Venn Diagram. This is my first freebie at my store so make sure to grab it Here!
Next we learn about making a campaign. We draw paper strips to see who will make a campaign for Oscar and who will do Freddy’s campaign. Each group creates the animal craft and then writes fun rhyming campaigns on plain white paper. They always turn out so cute. We hang our campaign on the door when they are finished.
On day 4 we read, “My Teacher for President”. We again dig deeper and compare and contrast. For our election process we learn about taking a poll. We poll 10 classmates to see who is in the lead for our election. Then we graph our results.
Plan for extra time on day 5! This is the big day! First we read, “Duck for President”. Since we have read all of the other duck stories by Doreen Cronin, I know my students are going to love this one. We sequence this story in groups. Then we hold our election. We vote, find our winner and then celebrate. I usually make cupcakes for my kiddos. I also made “I Voted” signs that I tape on them. In addition, I snagged leftover 4th of July candy this year to have as a treat. Finally, I read “If I were President”. We use this book for writing. We make these cute little kiddos and write about what we would do if we were president.
*If you decide to do this unit, keep track of the winners each year. My students always ask. I tell them each year who has won the most in our classroom.
Here is a photo of my supply cabinet. It is normally covered in curtains, which I kept up, but I added streamers. Inside I put the ballot for the day. They cast their vote and put it in the voting box inside. Super Secret!!
Here are my little daily ballots, some word work activities, and my word wall that I keep up!
I am VERY excited to start unit with my children. I will be blogging about it as we go too!