In less than a week our country will elect its newest President!
And this year's election has caught more media attention than ever before...
Children appear to be more aware of who the candidates are than I have ever witnessed in the past.
I feel it is important to teach them about Election Day and what it means to have the right to vote even at an early age.
Every year I conduct an election in my classroom but it is usually to vote on something that has an immediate 'reward'- certain snack, special activity, a privilege, etc. BUT after the day is over the 'impact' of what was decided upon does not really stick and there is no 'long term' reminder of what our vote got us.
So this year I really tried to think about what I could do in my kindergarten classroom to show students the impact a vote/decision has long term....
...and then it came to me!
We hadn't started our 'take home reading buddy' program yet this year...
THIS would be perfect!
Students will vote on which animal they want to be the 'take home buddy' for the year.
They will be reminded of the outcome of the vote each week...the other 'candidates' will slip away and never be seen, but the winner will be a part of our classroom, and fun at home, for the remainder of the year!
So I rummaged through my cabinets and collected books and such that each 'candidate' had used in the past when the were the take-home buddy.
I made a 'ballot'...
...and thought about what each 'candidate' would 'say' to persuade the 'voters' to pick them!
You have the very famous Pete the Cat...
The classic Clifford the Big Red Dog...
And the oh so adorable Cookie Mouse...
Students will have to really think hard about which 'candidate' is going to make the best 'take home reading buddy' for the year!
Each 'candidate' has some really good points as to why s/he should be picked...
Will students go with the popular favorite? A fun puppet to play with? The less popular, yet cutest?
Only time will tell!
In the meantime I am waiting on all these permission slips to come back to me...
I have done take-home reading buddies in the past (you can read about Pete the Cat one HERE) and know that the stuffed animals and books that go into them are
doomed destined to take a beating! Thankfully, Kohl's Cares for Kids program has stuffed animals 4 times a year for only $5 each...as well as books that go with them...so I don't mind using them!
But in any case, I do emphasize that the children need to be responsible and will only send home with kids whose parents have filled out the permission slip.
**If I don't get slips back, I do let those children have a day in the classroom with the special friend so that they don't feel left out!**
And then on Monday we will go into our secret 'voting booth'...
...and will have to make the important decision that will impact who stays around in our classroom ALL YEAR LONG!
They will mark their choice and then fold it and drop it in the SUPER OFFICIAL ballot box...aka...
...last night's dinner box 'up-cycled' into a ballot box!
I will take all the ballots out, we will tally the results and the winner will be announced with fanfare and zest!
The kids will wear this badge home:
to hopefully spark some discussions about what we did in class and also remind parents to vote!
On Wednesday (our schools are closed to students on Election Day) our new 'take-home reading buddy' will be sworn in and s/he will begin their adventures with families beginning on Thursday!
The take-home buddy will be placed in a special mini backpack filled with his/her special books & a notebook to chart adventures!
Each Monday s/he will return and we will read about what s/he did that weekend! S/he will come home with me to 'take a bath' and be all prepped and ready for his/her new adventure the following weekend!
If you think this is something you would like to do with your class, download the FREE template HERE!
The images I used are from Google Images and I do not own them, nor did I purchase them for commercial use, so I am giving you a blank editable template (one or '2' choices, one for '3' choices).
Simply add text boxes or pictures to suit it to fit your needs.
I also included a blank 'Vote For...' poster that you can use to make for your 'candidates!'
Still need some poems/songs, activities, books or more for Election Day?
Check out this video of 4 of my Election Day Resources:
You can find them ALL by clicking HERE
Stay tuned to find out which 'candidate' won our classroom election!
Until next post,