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Classroom Election Activity
Before beginning, think of issues your students enjoy voting on, make up copies of a short voter registration form for each student, and have a shoe box at hand (this will be the ballot box). After the election issue is chosen you will need to make up a ballot for each student.
1. Pick an Issue to Vote On
Have a classroom discussion to decide what to vote on (or you decide the issue and have the students discuss the pros and cons of each side). It can be a mock presidential election or an initiative about classroom rewards or behavior (for example, what to eat at a classroom party).
|Pick One Classroom Party Food|
|Ice Cream Sundae|
|Voter Registration Card|
5. Have the Students Vote by Secret Ballot
One at a time, each student needs to find their name on the voters list and sign next to it. That student then gets a ballot.
Have an area in which the students can privately read and fill out the ballot. A few desks in a corner will do (for extra effect, you could make a voter's booth in which a student reads and fills out the ballot -- a cardboard box from a refrigerator would work, but it is not necessary).
In the private area, the student will then read the ballot and fill it out. Remind them that it is a secret ballot and that they can vote however they'd like - no one should pressure anyone to vote any particular way.
When the students are done filling out their forms, they can put their ballot in the ballot box.
|Favorite Classroom Party Food|
|Ice Cream Sundae|
7. Put the Election Results into Effect
To show the students that voting is important, make sure the policy goes into effect when you said it would.
Topics and Questions For Classroom Discussion
I. What is a ballot? Answer: The list of the issues and/or candidates running for office. A ballot is used to cast a vote.
II. What is a ballot box? Answer: The box into which the votes are cast.
III. Why do people have to register before they vote? Answer: So only citizens in the region vote and they only vote once in each election.
IV. Why do you put your ballot in the ballot box and not just hand it to a voting official? Answer: So your vote remains secret.
V. What should you do if there is a tie? Answer: There are many different reactions to a tie. You can re-count the votes, re-do the election or simply toss a coin to determine the outcome of the election. The students can come up with new alternatives.
VI. How do you feel when you voted for the side that lost? How do you feel when you voted for the side that won?
VII. Why is voting important?
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