We will be holding an election at my school for the kids (we use the Kids Voting program) so my students will get the opportunity to vote just like mom and dad. We're keeping it simple for the kindergarteners though-we'll only be voting for president, governor, and senator.
So, how do you explain a topic as complex as voting to kindergarteners? I plan to start with some great read alouds. Here are some of the books I will be reading and discussing with my class (you can click on the books for more info on them).
My favorite book about elections is "Grace for President." It is about a little girl named Grace who runs for school president. It's neat for the kids to see how the candidates make campiagn promises on how they would change their school if elected-and it always leads to a discussion on what we might want to improve in our school. Sometimes I have my kids write about what they would do if they were our school's president.
I also love the book "Duck for President." It is by Doreen Cronin, the same author as "Click Clack Moo." The illustrations are great and it gives a funny take on the election process. In the end, duck learns that being president really isn't all that fun-it's a lot of work! I saw an idea (on Pinterest I think) where kids write about which storybook character they would nominate for president-I might do this activity as a follow up to this book.
Rosemary Wells always writes great books-so I had to get this book she wrote about voting. In the book "Otto Runs For President" a little dog named Otto runs for school president. You get to see how sometimes in a campaign, the different candidates are not very nice to each other, and try to show one another up with campaign promises.
The book "If I Ran for President" explains what it is like to run for president in a way kids can understand. It briefly touches on things like the primaries, conventions, debates, and campaigning. It's told from the perspective of a kid who is imagining what it would be like to run for president.
The book "If I Were President" is also told from the perspective of a kid imagining what it would be like to become president. It highlights some of the perks of being president, like: having your own personal chef, getting to travel to different countries, and being famous. It also describes some of the work of being president too, like: going to meetings, giving speeches to congress, and being in charge of the military. Very kid friendly book!
This is a cute story told from the perspective of a kid who thinks his teacher should be president. He lists lots of funny reasons that she would be perfect for the job! This would be a good book to start a discussion about what the requirements are to become president and what might be some qualities of a good president.
Are you planning on doing anything fun to teach your class about elections and voting? If so, I would love to hear your ideas-I could use some more ideas for kindergarten appropriate voting lessons, activities, books, and crafts!