Thursday, November 06, 2008

Election Reaction

My whole school was buzzing about the election yesterday. From Kindergarten up through fifth grade all the kids were aware of what had happened and very excited. In the halls kids were heard shouting "Obama rocks!" and one particular first grader walked up to everyone he saw to tell them "Obama is the new president of the United States!" In my morning "extended day" period I had just two students (a first and a fourth grader) who don't speak much English yet. I tried asking them if they saw the election last night. The fourth grade boy looked at me with a puzzled face that said "I have no idea what you are talking about." Then I said "McCain, Obama." The boy's face lit up with recognition and the little girl perked up and said "Obama!!" with a huge smile. So cute.

Throughout the rest of the day I gave each group of students a chance to say what they saw on T.V., what they thought, or to ask any questions. Almost all of the students had a lot to say. More than half of them said their parents or someone they knew had voted and some even got to go with their parents to see what it was all about. In talking with my students all of them knew that Obama would be the first African-American president. Some other tidbits from the day:

-A second grade girl said "His dad is from Africa, and I'm from Africa too."
-A fifth grade boy wanted to know why McCain was motioning with his hands during his speech. (I explained how he didn't want people to boo when he was congratulating Obama.)
-Many students wanted to know if McCain was mad that he didn't win.
-One of my newcomer ELLs asked "What happened to the girl who was always with Obama before?" (Hilary Clinton)
-I was impressed when one third grader knew that the donkey was for the Democrats and the elephant was for the Republicans. Many more students knew the colors, probably from watching the map the night before.

After spending most of each class talking about the election, I made a web of things we had talked about and had the students do a "quick write" for five minutes about the election. (Our first QW of the year.) They all wrote for a solid five minutes and had good things to say based on what we had talked about.

I was very excited for the whole day and I had a great time talking about the election with all of my kids.

1 comment:

Lopai said...

I been teaching Kindergarten in Hawaii for 8 years. We actually did Kids Voting. Most of my children voted for Obama. I think after we discussed the topic of the war and where each candidate stood, my students were eager to vote for him. I work at a school on a military base. These children's parents have been deployed and redeployed to Iraq and they miss them so much. It really does touch your heart at times. I love my job.