Sunday, November 4, 2012

Electoral Votes

This is the third in a little series of posts about the election.  Read my thoughts on teaching about the election to children and our non-partisan election sign here!

Teaching about electoral votes is really fun- it is a lot like a game, which kids understand.  It also gets into geography and math, as well as social studies.  Truly a integrated topic. to teach about electoral votes?  Here's what we've been doing:

First, we played an election game I made...we paired up basic questions and answers about the election.

Then we talked about how voting works- that whoever gets the most votes is the winner of his or her state.  BUT, that to elect the president, we don't just count all the votes in the whole country.  Instead, we use electoral votes.

I printed off a few copies of this map, and we identified the states and how many electoral votes each state has.  We discussed how the number of electoral votes are based on how many people live in that state.  Oftentimes a bigger state has more people living there, but not always.  For example, Alaska is huge, but only has 3 electoral votes.  New York is not so big, but so many people live there that they get 31 electoral votes.

Next we played a mock election.  We took turns deciding if the democrats or republicans would win each state and colored each state blue or red (note, these are completely random predictions!)  

We totaled up the number of electoral votes that the democrats and republicans earned based off of our map, and discovered the winner.

Lastly, we turned to the Internet to look for some election predictions.  We particularly liked this website that has its predictions mapped out and even lets the kids decide some of the swing states and watch the tallies change.  I'm sure there are lots of good sites out there.  

We are going to print out another electoral vote map for Tuesday night and stay up eating popcorn and coloring in states as the election results are returned.  Lots of fun!  Happy Election!

1 comment:

  1. Awesome idea! And a great way to keep it fun instead of letting it get stressful for them. Nice randomly created map - looks like the Democrats have made big gains in the South! Hehe. 2 more days...


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