Last week, Arizona Charter School held a mock election for the 4th grade with the assistance of the League of Women Voters as a supplement to our unit on Women’s Suffrage.
Students were required to register ahead of time and then campaign and vote for their favorite candy. Choices on the ballot for the candy election included Dum-Dum Suckers, Double Bubble Gum, and Tootsie Rolls. Campaign research was conducted by twelve student volunteers who took time outside of school to craft campaigns including posters, speeches, slogans, and jingles.
On Tuesday, the students gathered in the multi-purpose room to hear stump speeches and receive their ballots, which they cast in private polling booths. We even had poll workers consisting of students who didn’t register to vote beforehand! Susan Penner from the League of Women Voters spoke to the students as votes were being tabulated on what their organization does and why voting is so important to her. Finally, the results were announced: in a landslide election, the overwhelming winner was Double Bubble Gum!
The experience provided the students with tons of fun, but also a great educational opportunity to learn more about the election process in a hands-on way. As a teacher, I was extremely impressed with all the hard work and effort put forth by all students involved. Their campaigns and speeches were very well thought out and planned. My hope is that students left with the knowledge of just how much each of their single votes count and how they can make a difference.