Saturday, November 3, 2012

...For President

I've been so busy with school and my new duties as a media coordinator, but I've had fun with the election lessons.  For the K-2 classes, I read My Teacher for President by Kay Winters and Vote For Me! All About Civics by Kirsten Hall.  For the 3-5 classes, I read Grace for President by Kelly DiPucchio and Vote by Eileen Christelow. 

Citizenship is the Character Ed Word for the Month
Before reading My Teacher for President, I asked the students what they thought the President does.  "He runs people out of the country."  "No! No! He runs in the country."  "He gives us gas." "He tells jokes."  
I love my job. <3  
Then I asked them why their teacher would be a good President.  The first four reasons on the chart below, were generated before I read the book to some 2nd graders. My favorite; "She's bossy."   The teachers loved seeing what their students thought of them.  After reading Vote for Me!..., to a class that tattles on each other all the time, I had them tell something nice about another student in their class.  I paired students so they would have to say something nice about someone they fight with all the time.  The smiles and attitudes were priceless.
My Teacher for President
The next day I read a "Pete the Cat" book and a "Pigeon" book to refresh the students' memory about the characters.  Then they voted for which character they wanted for President.  The kindergarten ballot had a picture of each character.  After voting they got a sticker that read, "I Voted". 
Kindergartners Vote for Pete the Cat or Pigeon

 I listen to the news on tv in mornings while getting ready for work.  One morning they were trying to explain electoral votes.  I was still confused.  Grace for President explained it so that I could understand it. My plan to have students research the number of electoral votes that NC has was ruined in one class, when a student noticed the illustration of the map with the numbers on it.

While two students at a time voted for Greg Heffley or Junie B. Jones, the other students watched Word Girl: A Vote for Becky.  They made connections between the book and the video.  It was interesting to see what connections each class was able to make.  Every class was able to connect the most obvious similarities, but they surprised me with their higher order thinking. 
5th Graders Vote for Greg Heffley or Junie B. Jones
The next day, I read Vote and we had some serious discussions about the history of voting and the voting process.  One fifth grade class made the observation that if we lived 130 years ago, nobody in one fifth grade class would be able to vote.  Only two students in that class would have been able to vote.  Although two other students looked like they would have been able to vote, one student pointed out that he would not have been able to vote because he is biracial.  Another student's last name would have kept him from voting.  I explained that's why every American should vote. They were surprised that the laws ("back then") would have prevented them from voting.  I hope that our discussion will come back to these students when they turn eighteen.
I Voted!

No comments:

Post a Comment