Lisa Gillman and
Running for President:
Where you go to vote is called the "polling place." The polling place in your neighborhood may be your church, a local firehouse, or even your school. Inside there will be a bunch of election officials, volunteers, and one or more voting booths. You usually have to wait in line then give your name to an election official. That person checks the book to make sure you have registered to vote. They will then check your name off to make sure that nobody tries to vote twice. Then you use a voting booth and make your vote.
When voting you have what they call a ballot. On this ballot are the candidates that are running and the positions they are running for. The presidency is not going to be the only thing on there. People may be running for governor, senator, mayor, sheriff, judge and so on. You vote according to how the ballot is set up. The voter usually marks their choice by pencil or if a voting machine is used, pulls down a lever next to the candidates name. You have the choice of who you want to vote for. Your ballot is secret and is then placed into the ballot box.
Aten, Jerry. (1987). Our living Constitution Then and Now. Carthage, IL: Good Apple, Inc. Resource and Activity Book.
Burns, James, Peltason, J.W., Cronin, Thomas E., Magleby, David B. (1998). Government by the People. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. Front cover for chart of states drawn in number of electoral votes. Pg. 313-319.
Christensen, Tonya, Stevens, Holly. Elections in United States. Found in ERTC Prepared lesson Plans Cabinets.
Gill, Nancy. (1992). Electing our President. Fearon Teacher Aids-along with this book that contains great information, we also found a set up for a mock election, transparencies, and other great materials. Found in Edith Bowen library from Mr. Larsen.
McClenaghan, William A. (1999). American Government. Needham, Massachusetts: Prentice Hall. Chart on pg. 341. Adaptations will have to be made for fifth graders.
Parkinson, Rebecca, Coleman, Tamra. Politics and Zoos- whats the difference. Information and activities on campaigning. Found in ERTC Prepared lesson Plans Cabinets. Civics 1225.
This site contains activities for k-5 about elections with titles such as: The election Process, Voting, the campaign trial, etc. It also has a link of instructional materials, which gives a list of books useful for teachers to purchase when teaching about elections.
Kids voting USA. 1999. http://www.kidsvotingusa.org/education.html
This site, under curriculum and activities, contains ideas that can be printed off or viewed online of ways to help students learn more about voting.
Issues 2000 Every Presidential Candidate on Every Issue. 2000. http://www.issues2000.org/
This site contains the debates and strands that the presidential candidates take on many issues. Also contains the schedule for primary elections. Great resource for teachers or students if issues are of interest to them.
The Copernicus Education Gateway. 2000. EdGate. Com. http://www.edgate.com/elections/inactive/
This site contains great informational resources to help
teachers present information about elections. The link of
how and why people vote is very interesting and helpful to
us. There are also others such as: The Parties, the
candidates, the issues, etc. It also includes a lesson plan
index, which list topics and subheadings within the
Gutman, Dan. (1996). The kid who ran for President. Scholastic Press. A twelve year Judson Moon announce that he is running for President. He runs a campaign and gets his name on the Wisconsin ballot. He has all kinds of friends and supporters of his lemonade party.
Hurwitz, Johanna. (1990). Class President. Morrow Junior Books. Julio hides his own leadership ambitions to help another candidate win the nomination for class president.
Hermes, Patricia. (1988). Heads, I win. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. Bailey runs for class president. She hopes that by winning, her foster family will let her stay.
1. The students will be able to understand the voting process.
2. The students will understand the procedure of the electoral college in the voting process.
3. The students will be able to identify qualities that are important for a president to have.
4. The students will be able to fill out ballot sheets and see the importance of gathering information before voting.
5. Students will be able to understand the registration
1. Semantic map: Have students write down everything they know about elections using the semantic map style of brainstorming. Materials: white paper, pencils or markers. Time: 15-20 minutes.
2. Voter registration: Use a modified registration form. Discuss the purpose of registration. Register the students to vote by explaining the form, then have them fill out the form. Materials: modified registration form. Time: 10 minutes.
3. Taste test: After students are registered to vote, let them know that a candidate needs to be investigated and researched before on can vote. Get three different brands of rootbeer (each decorated attractively with labels removed). Students are given each selection to taste. After tasting them the students vote on a ballot for which they thought was best. After each student votes the teacher creates a bar graph to compare the data. Can be related to the candidates on the ballot and how they compare in their race. Materials: rootbeer, voting papers, ballot box, paper cups, napkins. Time: 30-35 minutes.
4. Using an overhead of a map of the United States have the students guess how many electoral votes there are for each state and then discuss the map that actually shows the number each state has. Then talk about electoral college. Materials: overhead. Time: 15 minutes.
5. Ask students to think of someone they think would be a good President. Make a list of choices. Ask the students to give reasons for their choices, and list those. Materials: board or chart paper to make list on. Time 30-40 minutes.
6. Tell the students that they are going to be voting on two different types of candy. With the whole class have the students vote for their favorite of the two kinds of candy. Write those results on the board. Divide the students into various sized groups and give them a state name (bigger groups are given states with more electoral votes). Let each group or state know how many votes they will have. Designate that many people for each group as the electors (have that amount for each different item that is being voted on). Have the electors find out the popular vote for each member in the group so that can determine how which party will be voting. Make sure the students understand how important it is that they do not change their popular vote. Discuss with the students how they felt about the results of the electoral college compared to the popular vote. Materials: paper, pencils Time: 30-45 minutes.
7. Make a copy of two ballots (found at the following website on page two: www.kidsvotingusa.org/) for each student. Give students ballot A and tell them to vote for the different issues. Give them no other instructions. Tally the results from ballot A. Discuss with the students how they felt about the issues they voted for. Give students ballot B and have them vote again. Discuss how the students felt about ballot B compared to ballot A. Discuss the importance of knowing all of the information about a candidate or an issue before voting.