Dinosaur Elections - activity

Dinosaur Elections - activity
Elections Day is the second Tuesday in November. People are getting ready to vote. Let your children have an opportunity for a classroom election experience, or if home-schooled it can be a fun learning activity for your younger children.

Materials needed :
Pictures of three favorite dinosaurs – from coloring books or hand drawn
White construction paper
Three-panel display board (like for science fair projects
Red, white and blue tempura paint &/or red, white and blue crepe paper streamers – or both
Sponge paint brushes
United States flag
Flag and star stickers
Cardboard Shoe box
Poster board

What to do :
Have a dialog with the children asking if they have heard anything about the upcoming elections. Explain the election process in terms that they can understand. “Every four years, Americans must decide which person will be the President of the United States.” Ask if any of them know who the current president is and allow for some discussion. “Right now, people all over the country are getting ready to choose a new president. They do this by voting. To be able to vote they have to go to a polling place where they have to go into a voting booth. This allows them to keep their vote private. When they are in the voting booth they choose the name of the person who they want to lead the country by writing down the name, or marking a piece of paper of pushing a button on a computer screen. Then the votes are counted and the person who gets the most votes wins.

We can have our own election in the class/or family – but since you are too young to vote for president we can vote for our favorite dinosaur. The dinosaur who wins becomes the classroom dinosaur for a whole month!

• Ask the children to nominate a favorite dinosaur – limit the choices to three or four. (Stegosaurus, T-Rex, Allosaurus, Triceratops or whatever they choose).

• Make posters for each dinosaur by using pictures from coloring books, the computer or having children draw a dinosaur. Write ”VOTE FOR and the name of the dinosaur on each poster – hang these around the room.

• Make a computer graphic that shows each of the 3-4 dinosaurs and print copies of this page for each child (for voting day). These will be the ballots.

• Let the children decorate the voting booth with streamer and/or tempura paint. Using the paint they could paint each section one of the colors of the US flag. When the paint is dry they can further decorate it with flag and star stickers.

• Have them paint the shoe box white and decorate with more stickers when it is dry – set it aside for Election Day. An adult needs to cut a slit in the top of the box approximately 1” x 6”. Tape the top of the box to the box.

• Have the kids make “I VOTED” buttons by using poster board, and tracing around a lid of a cottage cheese or sour cream container and cutting the circles out and writing “I VOTED” on each circle. There needs to be a circle for each child in the family or classroom.

• On Election Day, set up the voting booth on a table that is close to the wall so that the children have privacy when they are voting. Each child is called up one at a time, given a ballot (the paper with the pictures of the 3-4 dinosaurs). The child goes into the booth and circles the dinosaur of their choosing then folds their ballot in half and puts in through the slot into the (shoe box) ballot box. Stick an “I VOTED” circle on their shirts with tape when they leave the voting booth.

When everyone has had the opportunity to vote, remove the ballots from the box and have the children sort and count them. The dinosaur with the most votes becomes the classroom/home dinosaur for the month.

Books to help draw the dinosaur candidates:

Dinosaur coloring books:

Dinosaurs: A Coloring Book by William Stout
Related books about elections:

Election Day (Rookie Read-About Holidays
If I Ran For President
E Is for Election Day

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