Last week was a big week in first grade! We had a mock election, ate pop rocks, and celebrated Valentine’s Day. I was exhausted on Friday!
Our next ELA unit is based on historical figures and we are going to be reading about several of our Presidents so I didn’t want to do too much information on our Presidents to prepare for President’s Day so instead we had our own election! We read 3 different books about a few candidates running for the job. They loved it!
We discussed our three candidates and what qualities did they possess to make a good president. I then broke students into groups to work on creating campaign posters. I assigned each group a candidate to make sure we had a fair display.
I loved that my students asked for the books to look back and find some good reasons they would make a great President. It was a proud moment! The next day students created their Voting Identification cards. I let them look at my driver’s license to see what a real ID looked like. I did have one student concerned that we were making “fake IDs”. I explained to him they were just pretend. He felt a bit better. haha 🙂 I also told students it was their job to keep track of their ID so when voting day came they could vote. No ID, No vote! All of them had their ID! Amazing they kept track of this piece of paper for 4 days but pencils come and go so easily 🙂
On voting day, they showed their ID to me and then entered the voting booth.
As I read and tallied the votes, students kept track on their own graph at their seat. Unfortunately, there was a tie between myself and Duck. I guess you win some, you lose some.
In writing, we’ve been discussing using details and words to express emotions and senses. On Monday, I had a surprise bag waiting on my desk. ALL Morning students questioned the mystery bag and during writing we discussed words to describe the bag. Students completed a graphic organizer and made a prediction of what could possibly be in the bag. Many students guessed a puppy, they were a bit disappointed. 🙂
On Tuesday, the exciting part: opening the mystery bag to find…..POP ROCKS!!! They were so excited!! I discussed while we were eating the POP ROCKS we were going to talk about what we felt, heard, smelt, and tasted. It was a bit crazy when they first put them in their mouth. I’ve never heard more laughter in my classroom! It was perfect! We then began throwing out words to describe the experience.
After each day, we put our graphic organizer in our writing folder to use later. On Wednesday, we discussed smilies. I introduced the word briefly but mainly talked about what the POP ROCKS reminded us of. I was blown away by some of their ideas!
On Thursday, students used the previous days’ graphic organizers to fill out a template to describe the experience. We did one together and students had the option of using my words or looking at words from their papers to add.
On Friday, they were given a blank writing paper and I told them to write about the experience. They did such a great job! I love seeing the progress in their writing since August! We also made cute little faces to add to the writing.