Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Turn Your Class Into A Democracy

With the elections coming up we, as teachers, have a golden opportunity to turn our classrooms into a democracy and educate our learners about what is about to happen in our country.
It's real life, it's what mom and dad are talking about and it's important to learn about. So, how do we do this?
Use what you have in your classroom. And keep it simple. Maybe even decide on some new class rules. Or the themes that you want to use during the term.
Let's take the theme option for now. Give your class an option of themes, so, dinosaurs, wild animals, pirates, insects, books, pets, our country, food, shops and transport. That's 10 quite exciting themes, but you only have 4 weeks. Draw up a voting sheet with pictures and words for each theme. Download my example here.
Let your class vote on a Friday, and use the week before to explain each theme briefly (kind of like the way political parties describe themselves). Explain to you class what confidential means, and that it's their vote, and nobody else's.
On the Friday, set up your class as a voting station. Explain the procedure (maybe even include this as a schedule). Let them queue up outside, come in (they could even have ID books that you can make - see mine here). Stamp their books, take their fingerprint, and mark their thumb. Give them their sheet and let them go into a little cubicle to place their X. And then post their ballot.
Once everyone has completed this, bring them all into the class and explain that the themes with the most votes will be the theme for the term.

Take the votes out of the box, draw a tally table on the board.. And wait to see which themes will win.