Jefferson and Washington Middle School students recently learned more about the election and voting processes during class and through a hands-on voting process.
Washington Middle School fifth graders in Cathy Pitts, Ingrid Hagglund and Deb Szwejbka Social Studies classes recently finished a unit on the three Branches of Government, which came directly after the Revolutionary War Unit, so students have a solid background on what sacrifices were made and why all citizens should exercise their right to vote. Students also studied the following: life of a President, political parties, electoral college process, voting requirements and laws, and local political positions. On Election Day, each students was given a book which included fast facts about all 44 Presidents. They read this and recorded facts in their notebooks while they waited to vote.
“There are many benefits to a learning experience such as this including: awareness of current events and how those events affect their lives, how to be a responsible citizen, to make inferences regarding whether a candidate would live up to his promises based on what they have done in their political career, analyzing information from many different sources: newspapers, magazines, video, CNN newscasts and provided background knowledge on the election process for their future years when they are eligible to vote,” said Mrs. Szwejbka. “It also helps to make sense out of our country’s history by connecting, for example, that the colonists fought in the Revolutionary War to gain independence and have a say in government. I truly believe that going through the process of making a choice, writing their names at the sign-in table and casting a ballot in a voting booth definitely helps students solidify the concept in their memory banks. The physical aspect of going to our “polling place” makes them think about what they are doing versus just reading about it.”
Through the Board of Elections, all Jefferson students had the opportunity to cast their vote with a real voting machine. Student talked about the election and were introduced to the ballots in class. Every students had an opportunity to cast their vote in the 2012 Mock Presidential Election. The League of Women Voters and the Lakewood Rotary helped students “cast” their votes.”