Who won the presidential election? It wasn't Barack Obama at Lincoln School; it was Abraham Lincoln.
When Lincoln School students entered the polling booths on Election Day, they selected a president from a list of candidates who had unique experience for this important position. The ballot included three former U.S. presidents – Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and George Washington.
The three candidates were selected by school media specialist Doreen Golembeski. “I wanted the students to be able to voice their own reasons for selecting a candidate instead of just echoing their parents' voting choices, which is what usually happens in a school-wide mock election,” said Golembeski. “I wanted the children to think critically about each candidate before entering our voting booth on Election Day.”
The program was designed to give children an understanding of the voting process. After introducing and discussing Lincoln School's historic national election, students were ready to begin learning about the three former presidents on the school ballot.
During lessons in the library, all of the classes from kindergarten through grade five listened to individual picture book biographies about each candidate written by David A. Adler. The students then generated a list of character traits, contributions and qualifications of each candidate. Classroom teachers supplemented the experience by reading biographical titles from the “Getting to Know the U.S. Presidents” series written by Mike Venezia. Subsequent lessons featured grade appropriate media related to civics, voting and Election Day. Students in the upper grades played Election Lingo Bingo, a game created by Golembeski.
To provide an authentic election experience students colored campaign posters, which were displayed throughout the school and each student was required to fill out a voter registration form at home with parents prior to voting. After leaving the voting booth, each young voter received a sticker that proudly displayed, “I voted today!”
After much preparation, eager anticipation and high voter turnout, Lincoln was elected president, a position he once held long ago. “It is my hope that the lessons the students learned during this election season will turn into a lifelong respect for the privilege of voting and an ongoing interest in our country's election process,” Golembeski said.
Article taken from The Progress
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