At Keeler School we constantly look for ways to make learning authentic and personally meaningful. This year we introduced democracy through Keeler Votes, a school wide election organized and facilitated by the Grade 6 class.
The Grade 6 class started by deciding we needed a new school award for the Circle of Courage. The students brainstormed options for a possible new award, the parameters during this initial investigation were simple: it had to appeal to all genders and ages, it had to be relatively small, and it had to come in under a predetermined budget. Students formed political parties based on which award they thought would be best for the school.
These political parties worked together to come up with slogans, logos, and strategies for convincing students to vote for their award. Grade 6 students mounted an advertising campaign through creating posters, writing persuasive campaign speeches, and filming positive campaign videos.
After weeks of campaigning, every student in the school was able to fill out a ballot at the Keeler Votes poling station. The Grade 6 students had trained as poll clerks and returning officers and made sure that a fair election took place. When the ballots were counted, we found that trophies had triumphed by the tiny margin of just 3 votes.
Our students really internalized the importance of participating in democracy and have shared how excited they are to be able to vote as adults. It was exciting to see students commit to the process of democracy and make it their own.
Sonya Bradley, Claire Matheson, and Megan Ndegwa co-teach an integrated Grade 6 L&L classroom. They love popcorn and laughing with students! They hate finding shoes left on the floor at the end of the day.
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