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Friday, January 22, 2010

An Ice Cream Civics Lesson

The most eye-opening civics lesson I ever learned was while teaching the third grade.
The Presidential election was heating up, and some of the children were showing an interest.
I decided that having an election for a class president would be a good teaching tool.
The students would choose the nominees.
The nominees would make a campaign speech, and the class would vote.
There were many nominations, and Jamie and Olivia were picked as finalists by the class.
Both candidates were good kids.
The day arrived for the candidates to make their speeches.
Jamie went first.
He had specific ideas about how to make our class a better place, and ended by promising to do his very best.
Everyone applauded and he sat down.
Then Olivia spoke.
Her speech was concise.
She said, "If you will vote for me, I will give everybody ice cream."
She sat down.
The class went wild, screaming, "Yes! Yes! We want ice cream!".
She didn't say anything more.
She didn't have to.
A discussion followed.
How did she plan to pay for the ice cream?
Olivia didn't know.
Would her parents buy it or would the class pay for it?
Olivia didn't know.
The class really didn't care.
They just wanted ice cream.
Jamie was forgotten.
Olivia won by a landslide.
Elections are like that.

-Contributed anonymously by a Grade School Teacher

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