Anyone who wants to run can, but they have to fill out an application, and we hold a debate. I send home a list of questions for Mom and Dad to help them answer, and then we take turns answering those questions in our debate.
I use a Kleenex box to put the ballots in. I had a helper come and be the worker at the polling place. He took their registration cards, gave them an "I voted" sticker (I have no idea where those came from, but they sure came in handy) and helped them write a name on the ballot and put it in the box.
We also build a community out of legos. We build it on top of a target that has urban as its center, suburban outside of that, and rural on the outside.
But sometimes natural and man-made disasters hit our community!!! They make a mess of our well-designed community, and we have to discuss the possible ways to solve this problem!
Then we discuss natural and man-made and write about types of each.
We also form councils and discuss issues that come up in the community. The president does the presenting, the secretary does the writing, and the vice-president is the runner, the encourager, and the all-around helper! The students have various issues to work through, and then write about them. After they write their solution, they present the problem and solution to the rest of the class.
This unit typically last me about a month, but it could be done faster, or slower.
My students love it, especially the building and the mayor election!
Next year I would like to add a STEM community to it, complete with community workers and what they do. A classroom restaurant, post office, police station and more! My summer next year will be a busy one! A girl can dream...
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