How'd a Bug Get on the Ballot

Who do I vote for?Who ever thought that voting could be so fun, imaginative, educational, and yet..a bit buggy? Well, the 4th graders at River Oaks Elementary in Pflugerville ISD..that's who! We recently visited River Oaks Elementary, because they have found a new way to introduce students to the voting process.teaching them much, much more about life in the process.

Led by 4th grade team leader Katrina Kaatz, 4th grade students participated in a Bug Election by leading the teachers and students on a elect a bug President! Each class nominated a candidate. The candidate then appointed various committees within the classroom, such as a speechwriting committee, campaign committee, spirit committee, poster committee, etc. The students learned valuable lessons during this process like how to delegate, how to be supportive of one another, how to work in groups, how to be spirited and supportive of all the candidates (not just their own), effective communication, and public speaking.

This is the fourth year that River Oaks Elementary has used the mock election component of the Project V.O.T.E. curriculum. The teachers all agreed that the students gain so much from this experience by voting for something that they can relate to-like bugs. These students learned first-hand the democratic process-in a very imaginative way!

The students actually registered to vote for the bug election, using the real voter registration application and then were issued voter registration certificates. They developed political ads, campaign materials (such as political buttons and posters), and finally, developed and wrote speeches.

There were a total of 5 candidates that appeared on the ballot. Frederick Roachevelt (Clifton Van Dyke), Abraham Stington (Cody Clevlen), Kate T. Piller (Nhu Pham), George Walkingstick Bush (Allison Frueh) and Labybug Lincoln (Tatiana Valdez). Each of the candidates delivered a speech (in random order), and all of the 4th graders voted, but only if they qualified by having their voter certificate. Once the student picked up their paper ballot, they shaded in two choices for Bug President, and deposited their ballot in the ballot box.

Ant Hill Jackson is in the running.The votes were tallied and the President announced----Congratulations Frederick Roachevelt! Otherwise known as Clifton Van Dyke!

What a wonderful way to introduce the mechanics of voting to your students. not to mention all of the life skills learned during the process. Thank you River Oaks Elementary-we wish you many more "buggy" elections!

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