Today I revealed the results of our class election for president. I showed the kids how many votes each candidate got, and then we discussed whom our class had "elected." Then I showed the kids how many votes the candidates got in the country-wide election, and we discussed the results.
I gave the kids a very basic lesson on a few different forms of government (democracy, dictatorship, monarchy) and explained that the United States is not actually a democracy but a constitutional republic (yup, had to consult the hubby on that one - gotta love it when you're learning right along with your preschooler! :), and then I gave a very brief explanation of the electoral college. I showed the kids a map of the US and explained that a majority of the people in the blue states had voted for Sen. Obama, and that a majority of the people in the red states had voted for Sen. McCain.
Then I explained that Sen. Obama is not actually our president yet, but that he's our president-elect and will be inaugurated in a special ceremony on Jan. 20, 2009. Next, Miss K (who couldn't be with us again today because her 9-month-old has been very sick :( ) sent me a very nice activity called "Meet Our New President-Elect," and we learned more about Sen. Obama, his wife and family, where he grew up, etc. We also learned about our new vice president-elect, and we talked about what a vice president does. Then we had a little fun looking at pretty pictures of the White House, where our new president and his family will live.
During our "Meet the President" activity, I pulled out the map of the United States, and we found Hawaii (where Sen. Obama was born), Kansas (where he grew up), Illinois (where he served as Senator), and Delaware (home of Sen. Biden). Both my daughter and Miss D's son wanted to work on the map when we started independent work:
Having the map of the US out encouraged Miss C's son to do the map of North America again, which he finished before moving on to the constructive triangles. I presented them to him, and then he said he wanted to do something else. He put them away all by himself, which in and of itself was completing the activity - love it!
Miss D's son worked with the addition strip board again...
...and then he did Sound Box 3 from Laura's system. He got the box out, which is labeled on top, and then he pulled out the corresponding sandpaper letters himself (I don't have my letters organized next to each box like Laura does because I don't have the room right now). Even though he used upper- and lowercase letters, I really admire the initiative he took here:
The two-year-olds joined us again today. Miss D's daughter did bead sequencing (she was able to follow a pattern card - I was amazed!), bear sorting, and water transfer:
My daughter did the nuts and bolts activity, the 3D Feel & Find puzzle, water transfer, and the sound boxes:
For Arts & Crafts, I gave the older kids a copy of the electoral map, and they used it to color their own maps of the United States red, blue, or gray (if a state was still undecided):
This was a great extension of the United States puzzle they had just completed, and although I didn't plan for the day to go this way, all of our activities flowed extremely well from one thing to the next.
We closed with the "J" verse and story from My ABC Bible Verses: "Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life,'" John 14:6.