Database Detectives Hold an Election ~ Part 3

Students use their knowledge of database technology and conduct a schoolwide election. Through this real time, real life election simulation, they learn the meaning of participatory democracy and the value of voting, as well as sharing that value with others. Elections unite the school community and motivate students to encourage families and friends to vote.

For more about Special #3 from Database Detectives Discover Democracy, e-mail Linda Scott, author and AT&T Teacher Disseminator.
Learning Standards
  • Understand the political process.
  • Explore the role technology plays in contemporary society.
  • Construct, read and interpret data.
  • Use technology and the writing process to present information to a variety of audiences.
  • Represent data using tables and graph.
  • Classroom Activities
    Students create a Planning List to prepare for a presidential or a gubernatorial election. Committees take charge of:
    • Registration.
    • Mentoring a "little kid" election.
    • Educating the community on registration, candidates and platforms.

    Follow-up activities include comparing school results with actual election outcome. Along with contributing to a committee, each student explores a different demographic issue and presents post-election findings with computer made charts, table, and/or graphs.
    Community Activities
    Launching a schoolwide election lets students understand the election process. A "little kid" election involves middle schoolers in educating youngsters about voting. The campaign leads to family and community dialogue about the rights and responsibilities of voting.
    Committee roles give students opportunities to replicate the work of many election related careers: voter registration, speech writing, publicity, policy making, and, of course, running for public office.
    Brochures from local Election Department, League of Women Voters material, campaign literature, periodical and newspaper articles, publishing materials, disks, printer supplies
    Students use ClarisWorks for word processing publicity, ballots, databases, and post-election presentations. Computers become voting machines. Students research election policy on the Internet.
    A schoolwide election is perfect for authentic assessments: ex. evaluating publications on appearance and accuracy; checking results of dissemination; judging "little kid" mentors by ballot outcome and teacher observation; marking student post-election graphics, etc.

    Web Sites
    Students research election resources and government information at The League of Women Voters.