Choose or Lose: The Electoral Process
program focuses on the election process, nationally and locally, and gives students insights
into what voters go through when choosing a candidate. Students see what issues might be important to a
community as well as issues that different candidates base their
platforms on. Students
also gain insight into the power of statistics, through the different
graphs they create. They will gain a greater understanding of the
amount of information drawn from graphs and how they are used to make
decisions. For example, in the first graphs students create, they not
only see how many actual votes a candidate received, but also how this
translates into percentages. Creating
the graphs with the use of a projector saves time and assists
students in the preparation of data on a spreadsheet, an important
skill in itself. Being able to visualize the information through the
graphs provides the means to achieve this goal.
Students understand various representations (tables, graphs, verbal
descriptions, algebraic expressions, and Venn diagrams) of patterns and
functions and the relationships among them.
Studies: Students gain knowledge
of facts and concepts drawn from history, along with methods of
historical inquiry, to inform decision-making regarding public issues.
computer with Internet
connection is required, along with a projector, television and VCR.
TVator software is also useful.
should have a basic knowledge of computers, specifically word-processing
and spreadsheet software. This project is intended for eighth grade
and above, but could also be done with highly motivated seventh grade
students. Students work individually on this project, but may work in
groups to e-mail the different candidates on their points of view
regarding various issues.
Choose or Lose:
The Electoral Process gives students
the opportunity to talk with candidates in-person or via the Web.
They learn about the electoral process and visually see the
significance of voting. They gain insight into why people vote for
a particular candidate, and learn the importance of statistics
in the election process, while developing their skills in this area.
you have the opportunity and the appropriate software (WebWhacker),
download some Web pages that may be useful, and have them ready
for your students.
About the teacher:
Anthony Salcedo is the laptop coordinator
at the Mott Hall School, the first inner-city public school to start a
laptop program. At the school, every student carries a laptop
computer. He was one of the keynote speakers at the Microsoft Laptop
Summit 2000 in Seattle, Washington. He has also spoken at other
technology conferences around the country, and has received
recognition from two superintendents for his achievements. He has also
worked as a translator in the Caribbean for a division of the U.N. Anthony is entering his tenth year in teaching.
Areas: Social Studies