Pawnee Elementary Hosts a Sweet Election

Pawnee Elementary Hosts a Sweet Election
Shawnee Mission School District

Third graders at Pawnee Elementary are learning that every vote counts as they cast their votes for their favorite candy.

Last week, the topic of their reading unit was voting. They read several expository texts related to the voting process and the impact a single vote can make. 

Rachel Cherry, third grade teacher, encouraged students to accompany their family members to the polling places to experience voting.

“Voting is free, but you have to register,” Allison, third grader, noted who accompanied her family to the polls.

The vocabulary instruction centered around voting as well. To further explore the concept of candidates, campaigning, ballots, and voter registration, third graders are hosting a Candy Campaign.

In preparation for their campaign, students wrote rough drafts and final drafts of their persuasive campaign speeches. They wrote to convince their classmates to vote for Jolly Ranchers, Skittles or Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. They practiced their speeches after Cherry modeled poor speech and good speech delivery.

“You have to be convincing and talk with an expressive voice,” Maggie, third grader said.

The third graders decided a good speech included eye contact, a smile, and speaking clearly. Following their practice sessions with a partner, each student presented their speech to classmates.

“They will make you jolly,” promised Dominic, who was campaigning for Jolly Ranchers.

“Peanut butter and chocolate are amazing together and they are so good frozen,” suggested Kielly.

“Skittles make you happy inside,” stated David.

Thursday, students “registered to vote,” and cast their ballots.  The importance of registering to vote was discovered, along with the privacy regarded when casting their vote.

Prior to tallying the votes, the class discussed being respectful  to those that do not win and to make sure everyone involved was congratulated and thanked, regardless of the outcome.

Election results declared Skittles as the winner, by a narrow margin.  Classmates were surprised that Jolly Rancher pulled in a close second place, commenting that there were minimal speeches made on Jolly Rancher’s behalf.
Each student created a bar graph of the voting data that will hang outside of their classroom to share the Sweet Election results.