I decided to keep the politics out of my classroom during the election, but I still wanted to show the process of the electoral college though, so I hosted the Great Cookie Election on Election day. It was super simple, and I definitely want to remember this for the future.
First up - I picked up two kinds of cookies from the store:
Then I wrote out all 50 states on little slips of paper, and put them all on the back table in my classroom. Each child chose a state they would represent and chose that ballot. With the remaining ballots, I asked for volunteers and they were quickly picked up. The students tasted both cookies and had to come to a decision for what cookie should win the vote.
The kids wrote their choice on their ballot and turned them into the basket. It was a secret ballot.
I wanted the kids to understand how each state had a certain amount of points, we had a quick discussion about population (keeping it very simple), and I posted a google image map of the states and EC votes on my projector. Then the kids got out their whiteboards or a piece of binder paper to do some math. The goal was 270 points to win. I also kept track on the board.
I would reach into the basket, choose a state, the kids would consult the map and find the corresponding point value, and then I would tell them which cookie got the point. They would add, and every so often I would ask for an update on my board. Chips Ahoy won by a slight margin. I really think the kids were able to then understand the election.