Among other sources, our theme "The Vote" is borrowing from the "Kids Voting USA" curriculum, which targets topics such as elections and voting; democracy and the people; informed citizen; and civic engagement/service learning. In the spirit of learning by doing, it is also leading our students into all kinds of polling and voting activities. The back room and the middle school started the theme with an interesting simulation lesson on The Birth of Democracy. The issue at hand was to choose songs and the volume at which to listen to them, and the students experienced how their preferences were respected in the context of a monarchy, an oligarchy, a tyranny, and a democracy. Interestingly enough, a number of students found the democracy model cumbersome and time-consuming and liked the tyranny model best. In that model, four students were volunteering to be the tyrant and the others chose whom to support, so there was an element of representation. For good balance, the follow-up to this lesson consists in investigating infamous leaders in history.
Students have also been experimenting with voting methods, by show of hands, paper ballots, or computer. They generally preferred … the computer!
There will be three school-wide elections coming up. The first to choose school colors, with Sunshine as the Supervisor of Elections, the second to elect the Supervisor of Elections for the subsequent election, and the third to choose a cause. The Supervisor of Elections for The Magnolia School has already issued two formal announcements (which were advertised in the school newsletter). Students will be expected to register to vote, announce their intent to compete for school colors, generate publicity and campaign before the vote. In parallel, they are receiving instruction in persuasive oral and written statements, and in advertising.
Resources for families to discuss the vote at home: