Friday Two Cents: The Children Are Awe-Inspiring


For the past couple of weeks I have been supplying in a kindergarten classroom with a great bunch of children and teachers.  The teachers have been telling me that I have inspired the children to do and try different things.  But the thing is that they have inspired me along the way.   They have inspired and given me hope that this country will do all right.

As part of the curriculum of the class, the teacher introduced a learning package she got from Elections Canada.  In it the children would have the opportunity to choose or vote for their class mascot.  However, they would not just look at a photo of a mascot but go through the entire electoral process in choosing one.

The mascots were introduced as candidates for the position of class mascot.  Each candidate was an animal from northern Canada and each one had a campaign speech and song they used to make their case to the children.  The package had a teacher booklet, CD with audio speeches and songs, as well as posters of each candidate.  The children also received an activity book with colouring sheets of each candidate and other activities for them to do.  Amazing!

When I learned about this program I became very excited and curious on how the children would react to the process.  The package gave instructions and information on the entire electoral process.  Everyday the children were introduced to a couple of candidates (one in the morning and one in the afternoon).  We would talk about and describe each candidate, their habitat, what they ate and some other info on them.  After we would hear the campaign speech and song from the candidate.

This Monday was voting day and we went through the candidates’ speeches, songs and what they stand for one last time.  We then talked about the voting process and how to vote.  They even gave us voting cards, a ballot box and screen.  I was once a deputy returns officer for an election, so I did the same duty here, but I had an enthusiastic Sr. Kindergarten help me as a poll clerk.

We had a voters’ list and he would check mark the people off the list once they voted.  He was absolutely adorable when the other children came up. He would ask, “Name please.” in a professional voice and them mark them off the list.  After everyone voted, he helped me count the results and he was very serious about it.  By the way, the candidate “Sam” won the election and is now our class mascot.  (See photos below)

All the Candidates

All the Candidates

Teacher Package

Teacher Package

Speeches and Info on Candidates

Speeches and Info on Candidates

1st Candidate: Charlie the Raven

1st Candidate: Charlie the Raven

2nd Candidate Desneiges the Polar Bear 3rd Candidate Max the Walrus

2nd Candidate Desneiges the Polar Bear
3rd Candidate Max the Walrus

4th Candidate Neevee the Caribou 5th Candidate Sam the Grey Wolf

4th Candidate Neevee the Caribou
5th Candidate Sam the Grey Wolf

Activity Booklet for the children

Activity Booklet for the children

The whole process was a great learning experience for the children and I absolutely loved it.  The children learned about our democratic system by participating in an election of their own.  They learned about different animals from northern Canada, and we even learned the native names of the candidates.  What is more inspiring than a young person learning something new and having fun doing it.  Trust me the smiles on their faces when they where participating was more than enough proof, but also awe-inspiring to me.



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