Vermont Votes for Kids: A project of the Vermont Secretary of State

Curriculum Grades 5-8, Student Handout for Lesson 1:
Voting is Everyonee's Duty

You are involved in a project about the importance of voting. The class has been divided in five groups. To help the group organize for this project, identify the following members of your team:

Facilitator - makes sure everyone participates and makes a contribution;
Manager/Time Keeper - keeps everyone on task;
Recorder/Summarizer - takes notes, so good ideas are not lost;
Reporter - informs the class about the group's progress;
Representative/Liaison - visits other groups from time to time and brings back suggestion to the home group;
Observers - all other students are observers, and they give periodic feedback about how the group is progressing.

In your groups, list the "fairest" way to form groups/teams. Generate alternatives and vote on the fairest method. Note: The fairest way might not be the way all of you would like it to be. If you have difficulty deciding on what is meant by "fair," discuss how voting might solve the problem of deciding. Be prepared to discuss your group's ideas for the fairest way to form groups/teams.

Discuss the topics of your group. Come up with a variety of project titles, and then vote on the one your group likes best.

Examples of central topics:

  1. Why Everyone Should Vote,
  2. Voting is Everyone's Duty,
  3. If You Don't Vote, Don't Complain,
  4. Voting Isn't Just a Right, It's a Responsibility.

Questions leading to topics might be:

  1. Some people vote regularly. Others vote rarely, if at all. Why is this?
  2. People from ages 18-24 vote least. If people in this age group want to be treated as adults, why don't they vote?
  3. If voting is so important, should people be fined or punished in some way for not voting?
  4. What happens when only a few people vote?
  5. What kind of campaign would it take to encourage more people to vote?

List other examples of central topics.

The class will discuss the five "voted" topics, then vote on a final project title.

Vermont Secretary of State