Every vote counts, even when it’s for cookies

(Cullman City Schools)

CULLMAN, Ala. – With the real-life midterm elections coming up, second graders at West Elementary School (WES) had a chance to learn about voting a bit early — and it even included some delicious snacks as research. 
WES second-grade teacher Tayler Daniel held a vote in her class to allow students to determine the students’ favorite cookies, following a taste test between chocolate chip, sugar cookies and Oreos. 
“Every student was encouraged to try all three cookie options; however, some students only tried one or two of the cookie options due to preference,” she explained. “Each student was given a ballot where they were able to record their vote. These votes were submitted to our ballot box anonymously and were counted by myself after all the votes were in. The findings were that the sugar cookie was the most popular vote, by far.” 
The voting lesson is an early step toward opening up civics and citizenship curriculum for young learners, as part of the Super Citizen Program through the Liberty Learning Foundation. The program addresses some social studies standards along with engaging students in learning about history, civics, character, financial literacy and career readiness. 
“The goal of this lesson was to teach students about the importance of thoughtful consideration behind voting and the importance behind the whole election process,” Daniel said. “These values were taught to the students before our mock election. They understood that their vote held value because they tried all of the options in order to make an informed decision. I also loved that my students were very engaged in the voting process, as they were contemplating their options seriously.” 
Daniel noted mock elections, especially around times of real-life voting at the local, state and national level, can be an incredibly useful way to connect those sometimes complicated concepts with notions young students can understand. 
“It is a great way for students to learn about their duty as a citizen to vote and how important it is that their vote is informed, and not based on someone else’s opinion,” she said.