Teaching Moments: Early Democracy

By Kacy Grady, M. A., Mentor Teacher Leader/Head Start Teacher, Warren Village

(November 4, 2020) – We want to share with you the lesson Ms. Nora and I prepared for the children today in respect to Election Day. It’s important to start introducing these topics of justice and democracy to children at a young age, as they are capable and more than interested in learning about the ways our society functions.

A Great Start

We began by asking the children if they were familiar with the word ‘vote’ and what they knew about voting. We read a few books relating to early democracy; Grace for President, Vote for Our Future!, and I Am America. We explained how the voting process works and introduced vocabulary words such as “ballot” “election” and “voting booth” and discussed what they mean.

We talked about how voting happens all over the country on lots of different levels. We discussed how LOTS of Americans vote each year for the President and that is a BIG vote. We decided to have a small vote in our classroom to demonstrate and bring to life the concepts we explored in our democracy discussion. Today’s vote was deciding on what kind of Democracy Celebration Party we will have on Friday: pizza or ice cream? The children took turns at the “voting booth” and carefully thought about their decision and then circled either the Pizza or the Ice Cream icon. They then cast their vote into the “Ballot Box” and received a ‘Future Voter’ sticker!

Observing Inclusiveness

After voting, the children noticed that Ms. Nora was not here this morning and that it would only be fair for her to also get to vote for our party. I believe this observation and recognition of fairness, inclusiveness, and equality at such an early age is a testament to the kind-hearted and intelligent children that we have at Warren Village. We decided that when Ms. Nora returned she would cast a vote and then after nap we would count the votes and reveal the winner!

Some Great Quotes Emerged

“Voting is when we find out who is the President!”
“It’s fair for everyone to get a chance”
“Being kind is important!”
“My mommy and daddy voted already!”

Reading the votes and revealing whether we will be having a pizza or ice cream party presented the class with a great opportunity to dive into conversations surrounding empathy, acceptance, and kindness. The entire Pre-K 2 class is so hopeful for the future of our country, especially after such a quality and truly inspirational lesson.

And the vote goes to…ICE CREAM!

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