Students will:

  • Deepen their understanding of patriotism
  • Reflect on and analyze their experiences of voting and participating in a democracy

30 minutes

Materials Needed:

  • Premade ballots with two to three game choices: octopus tag; freeze tag; duck, duck, goose; colors tag; parachute, etc.
  • Ballot box
  • Large motor space

Introductory Activity:
Teacher: Today we are going to deepen our understanding of patriotism. In this country, this state, and this classroom we respect everyone’s opinions and ideas. When we have to agree on something, one way to decide is by voting, then supporting that group decision. There are many different ways that we can vote, by raising our hands, with a check mark or post-it note, or by putting a ballot in a box. Today we are going to vote on which game to play during our lesson. By voting today we show patriotism.

Small Group Activity:
Teacher: This is a ballot. A ballot is used to write our votes. Adults use ballots when they are voting too. I am going to put a check on my ballot in the one box of the game I want the most. I’m going to cover up my ballot so my vote is a private choice that I do not share with others. My idea is important and I don’t want to vote for what my friend is voting; I want to vote for my idea. I am not going to write my name on my ballot because a vote is anonymous and private. After I put a check to vote for my favorite game on the ballot, I will put it in the ballot box and sit down. When everyone has voted, we will count the votes and see which game was selected.

Whole Group Activity:
Distribute one ballot to each student, and remind them of the rules:

  1. Do not put your name
  2. Mark only one choice
  3. Don’t show others your choice

After students have marked their ballots, collect them and tally the votes on a chart. Then, play the game which received the most votes.

Concluding Activity:
Ask the following guiding questions:

  • For those of you who voted for a different game than the one we played, how did that make you feel?
  • Is voting a fair way to decide what is best for the whole class? Why or why not?

Reinforce the importance of having a good attitude even if the vote does not go your way, and praise students for their patriotism. Discuss that exercising your right to vote is showing patriotism.

Discussion and observation, reflection on activity, student participation

Extended Activities:
Have students count and tally votes.

Use a circle map to write a class definition for patriotism.