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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Hail to the Chief: President Jones!

And the winner is...

Ashaway School held its first-ever presidential election, and the results are in!  Congratulations to President Jones and to his hardworking team of second grade campaign managers! 

It all began back in September when I stumbled on "The Failed Presidential Campaigns of Children's Book Characters" by Travis Jonker.  (It's really great; you should follow the link and read it!!)   This was the springboard for what became a collaboration between the second grade teachers, our art teacher, and me!  

I started by inviting my students to nominate candidates.  In the third and fourth grades I showed them how to use Padlet to suggest why their book characters should be considered, and they even learned how to upload pictures from the books I had on the shelves!  My second graders created mini posters to share and illustrate their ideas.

4th grade Padlet nominations - Click to enlarge!

2nd grade nomination - Click to enlarge!

Next I created a "primary ballot" that included the nominated characters...all 33 of them!  The second graders used them to narrow the field down to ten candidates, and each classroom was divided into five groups.  With that, the planning began!  Each group worked together to identify three reasons their candidates would make a good president.  They spent time in the classroom and during library class looking through their characters' books to find evidence that supported their opinions.  

Then, during "morning meeting" before the start of the school day, each group had the chance to deliver a mini "speech" to share some details from their writing to try and convince other students to vote for their candidates!


Starting off with a sketch!

The students also created campaign posters in art class and hung them up all over the school!  I spoke to them about campaign slogans and Ms. Mandeville talked about layout and use of space on the page.

Our art teacher, Ms. Mandeville, introduces the lesson

On Monday morning I distributed ballots to all of the classrooms which is where the voting took place.  (Thanks again to all of our classroom teachers for supporting our project!)  I had them all gathered by dismissal, and the students went home to enjoy their upcoming day off for the real Election Day!

On Wednesday morning it was time for The Big Announcement!

I really appreciate all of the teachers who kindly presented and gathered all of the ballots in their classrooms, and thanks again to Travis Jonker for the inspiration!  I am also grateful for the interest and enthusiasm shown by Mrs. Gray, Mrs. Pearce, Ms. Mandeville, and Mr. Scanapieco!  It was a lot of fun!!

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