I think I could go without saying how important and what a privilege it is that we all have a voice through voting. As classroom teachers, you teach your little ones about being a good citizen and about confidently and gracefully sharing your opinion. During this election season, I think all teachers are diving in headfirst to discuss all of this! I want to share some of my all-time favorite class election activities I have done with kindergarten and first grade students.
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Learn What an Election Is
The best place to start is with the basics. Most kids in kindergarten or first grade have never heard of an election. They were 1 or 2 when the last one was held so it’s safe to say they don’t remember much. I love to begin with a fun read aloud that introduces voting, people having a voice, and a result.
Here are some favorite read alouds:
- Duck for President by Doreen Cronin
- Grace for President by Kelly DiPucchio
- My Teacher for President by Kay Winters
- Otto Runs for President by Rosemary Wells
After reading, discuss the election that was read about. Continue to tell the students about our upcoming presidential election. You can even create an anchor chart together to write everything they know about the upcoming election! Here are some FREE KWL Charts for you!
Hold a Class Election
Another favorite activity is to hold a class election. My favorite was the year we did this on the topic of a snack. Here is a rough break down.
Day 1: Introduce the election and what the voting choices are. For example, I talk about how we would vote for our favorite snack on Thursday and I would bring it on Friday. Then, break up the class into 3 groups and each group decides on 2 snack choices. Each group then shares their 1st and 2nd choice. We create a list of 3 candidates, so to speak.
Day 2: Campaigning for the candidates. Each group gathers together and makes posters about why everyone should vote for their snack choice (whichever one made it to the candidate list.)
Day 3: Campaigning for the candidates. Each group shares their posters and reasons why everyone should vote for their snack.
Day 4: Ballots are handed out and votes are placed and tallied. A winner is declared.
Day 5: Celebrate the winner! The teacher brings the winning snack to school and everyone celebrates a hard-earned treat!
Write About the Presidential Election and Your Class Election
The final thing we liked for a class election activity was record all of this that we were learning about elections in one place. I liked to use flip up books for this purpose. They both would teach and provide a place to record our learning.
You can grab my Election Day 2020 flip up book in print and digital format!
No matter what the year is tossing your way, take some time to discuss and learn about elections with your students. Whether you just read one book and briefly discuss it or go all out with one of these fun class election activities I shared, doing SOMETHING is better than nothing.
What is one of your favorite class election activities? I’d love to hear in the comments!