Resources


Materials:

?Grace For President by: Kelly DiPucchio
2 or 3 types of brownies
plates, one for each child
one basket for each type of brownie
one slip of paper for each student
the names of each of the 50 states with the number of electoral votes they are given on separate slips of paper
Chart paper

Goals:

?The students will be able to explain the difference between popular votes and electoral votes.

Resource Instructions

?1.  Read  aloud the book Grace For President.  Discuss with students how Grace won the class election because of electoral votes.  Discuss how the president is elected by electoral votes and not popular votes.2.  Review the qualities of a good president from previous lessons.  Review the how electoral vote numbers are decided for each state (Each state's electoral votes are the number of senators and representatives in the House of Representatives, ie. NJ has 2 Senators and 13 representatives in the House of Representatives, so they have 15 electoral votes.)  Discuss the influence largely populated states have on the electoral vote.3.  Have students brainstorm the qualities of a good brownie verbally.  Tell them they will be voting on the best brownie based on what they think would make a good brownie.  4.  Give each student a sample of the 2 or 3 brownie types they will be voting on.  We use 3 types. 5.  Give each student a blank slip of paper.  They will put their "vote", or slip of paper, in the basket that matches the brownie they think is best.  Count the votes and display the Popular vote.6.  Assign a state to each student to cast that state's electoral votes using the same baskets.7.  Read electoral votes aloud as it would be done by Congress by saying, "New Jersey casts their 15 electoral votes for brownie #1".  Keep an ongoing total for each brownie as the votes are being read.  8.  Compare the popular vote winner to the electoral vote winner.  If one of the brownies does not win at least 270 electoral votes, discuss what happens when a presidential candidate does not receive at least 270 electoral votes. (The House of Representatives decides).   Discuss how a presidential candidate can still win the election without winning the popular vote.9. Have students write a response to the brownie exercise.  Do they think the electoral vote process is fair?  Should a candidate win based on the Popular vote instead?  Where would they campaign the most if they were running for president?

Extensions:

1. Hold a school wide election for a student body president.? Have a popular vote where all students vote, then have an electoral vote where each class is given a certain number of votes depending upon the number of students in the class.  The teachers can cast the electoral votes depending on who won based on their own class's popular vote.2.  Research with students times when a president was elected without winning the popular vote.

Assessment:

?Teacher observation of student participation in brownie vote.
Student responses to electoral votes.

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Posted by: msdania

I never understood WHY we have to have both electoral and popular votes, but I believe this lesson with brownies will finally help me understand. I enjoyed the book as well. I shared this lesson with my niece's teacher and will be bringing in the brownies election day. Thanks for sharing!

Posted by: jbrunaccioni

First up, do you have brownie recipees that you prefer to use? And secondly, super lesson! I love that you've found a hands-on way for students to understand this confusing concept. It's not easy to do. Keep up the good work!

Posted by: Laura Murray

Ideally we wanted to have one store bought brownie sample, one made from box mix, and one "from scratch" sample, but we ended up with one boxed and two store bought, one with icing and one without. It still worked! I don't have a brownie recipe, but you can probably find one on the food network website. I am glad you like the lesson!