As Americans go to the polls this November, adults won't be the only ones expressing their opinions about the direction the United States should take. Nancy Golubic's first graders at Market Street Elementary School in Boardman, Ohio, not only will be voting themselves, they also will help count the votes of K-6 students across the country.
Golubic has created Election 2008 Project, a simple voting activity designed to appeal to students at a number of grade levels. And any class can join! To participate, a class registers at the Web site, holds a simulated election between October 20 and November 4, and submits the results. The number and variety of participants already has impressed Golubic.
"My major goal is to get teachers and kids excited about the election," Golubic told Education World. "Also, Ohio has just come out with new technology standards, and participation in an Internet project is a way to integrate technology across the curriculum."
"Because my students are first graders, I began by teaching them the meaning of the Pledge of Allegiance," explained Golubic. "At that time, we talked a little about voting, and in the weeks to come, we will learn more about voting. I will introduce them to the two candidates, at their level of understanding. We will have a mock election with all four of our first grade classes participating, and then my class will tally the votes for all four of those classes." A group of fourth graders will assist Golubic in calculating the totals for the entire project.
In anticipation of the election, Golubic recommends that teachers check out the online resources and books listed on the project Web site, and take advantage of the ideas that other teachers have shared there. She hopes that teachers, especially those who teach older students, will use the data that is collected in creative ways, such as tallying votes by state, determining which states voted for the winning candidate, and comparing the results to the real election.
Article by Cara Bafile
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