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Insights from the Intersection of Childhood and Education

Friday, November 2, 2012

Learning with the Election

An 8th grader performs a rap routine while
campaigning for Ashkelon.

With the presidential election quickly approaching, election fever has taken over our school. The 7th/8th graders are running an all-school mock election, in which 1st through 8th graders get to vote for different Israeli cities represented by fictitious cats. Each group of 7th/8th graders campaigned for a different city in Israel. The hallways have been plastered with campaign posters, and lunchtime has been quite spirited with "campaigners" popping in to give "campaign speeches."


Giving a stump speech for Beer Sheva

In one 3rd/4th grade class, students used charts and maps showing the distribution of electors for the 2012 Presidential election to solve some fun and challenging electoral college math problems. Did you know that it is possible for a candidate to win the electoral college vote (and thus the presidency) and only win in 11 states? It would have to be the right 11 states, and the students figured out which ones they are.

Another 3rd/4th grade class created election handbooks with information about the general election and its laws and rules. The students learned facts such as: the President and the Vice President cannot be from the same state, you must be at least 35 years old and a natural-born citizen to be eligible to run for President, and how the Democratic and Republican parties got their start.

Election handbooks created by 3rd and 4th graders.

The 5th graders looked at how large a role "swing states" can play in the election, and 6th graders are focusing on the persuasion techniques of campaigning by creating commercials for fictional candidates. Lastly, the school newspaper held a school-wide poll, the results of which are eagerly anticipated.

With all these activities we can confidently say that elections can be fun, and that we are well prepared for the big day next week to roll around.

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