A few weeks before Election Day, I found a wonderful lesson plan
(see link below) titled "Your Vote Counts". It was written for
the kindergarten level but I thought it could be adapted for my second
About 10 days before the election, I introduced the concept of the election
by using a powerpoint presentation. I then told the students we would be having
an election in our room to select a classroom helper. We brainstormed ideas on the
qualities we felt would be most helpful. They came up with six qualities- helpful, nice
smart, responsible, respectful and fair. I then told them we would be voting between
Cookie Monster and the Count. I put their pictures on our blackboard along with their slogans
(A Cookie for every kid and You can count on me). Of course, everyone was all for Cookie Monster.
Each morning, I told the class I received a message from Sesame Street. I selected several problems
we typically encounter in our class (being mean, being too rough on the playground,
writing about others in diaries, etc.) and then I wrote in the message how both Cookie Monster and Count
handeled each problem. (Cookie always made the person feel better by giving them a cookie.) We didn't
do much talking about it each day- I just told them to think carefully about the qualities we were
looking for in a candidate.
On election day, I made ballots and a voting place and we had our election. (On election day, the children
came in from recess to find Cookie Monster left them cookies on their desks!) I reviewed each of the problem
messages from Sesame Street and they voted. When they voted, they wore an "I Voted Today" badge.
The Count actually won our election but Cookie still had several votes. I ended the activity by having them
write a paragraph telling me why they voted for the person they did. (They didn't have to tell me who they
voted for, but some of them did.) I was amazed at the thought that went into the process!
The children thoroughly enjoyed this activity and it really helped me relate it to the presidential election.