That was the reaction of one of our 3rd graders after receiving their I Voted at North Palm Beach Elementary! sticker. His enthusiasm is just one example of the excitement among students when we held the Presidential Election on campus. Students were sharing their opinions all week as they noticed voting booth appear in the hallway and as their teachers taught them about the election process in class.
In our mock election, 3rd – 5th graders participated in a general school election. Our first graders held a small mock election in their classrooms.
Students enjoyed learning more about the presidential candidates. Many of them had no idea that there were other candidates running in addition to President Obama and Mitt Romney. This led to great discussion about parties and how people with similar views tend to work together. What was most wonderful to see (and hear) was the pride that students took in being able to participate in the vote. Even though they are young, they learned that it is important to be an informed citizen and that every vote counts. Even the one write-in vote from a 3rd grader who felt his mom would make a great president!
Our Election Process:
While students learned about the election process, they also got a taste of the requirements needed to be able to vote. Early in the week, they filled out the Voter Registration Cards, learning that they had to prove their identity to be able to vote. Here is our sample Voter Registration Card from our school mascot Dilly the Dolphin!
On our Election Day, each student voted privately and placed their vote into the Voting Booth box. They were very careful to ensure that none of their classmates could see who they were voting for.
Lastly, students received their I Voted at North Palm Beach Elementary! sticker:
Once an entire grade level completed their voting, the grade level math teacher collected the ballots to begin analyzing the data with their class. While reviewing the ballots, students practiced their graphing skills, first through completing a tally table for the raw number of votes. Then, they took the tallies to create a bar graph representing their grade level votes. Lastly, they took some time to analyze their bar graph and write down one observation they made from the data.
After all the students in 1st, 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades calculated their vote totals, we took the data to make a master bar graph to represent our presidential choices as a school. Here are our results!:
Our final results:
Barack Obama/Joe Biden: 196 votes
Mitt Romney/Paul Ryan: 35 votes
Goode/Clymer; Johnson/Gray: 0 votes each
Write-In: 1 vote
Sure enough, our students correctly predicted our new president! The students were abuzz this morning–checking out the graph to see if their choice matched the country’s. They were excited to see that it did!
It is always great when students can participate in experiences that connect them to the real-world. I know it’s one they won’t forget and hopefully they will take it with them when they head to the polls in the coming years!
Bonus Fact: Two of our wonderful teachers were volunteers at the last presidential debate at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida!