Grade 3 Students Learn Hands-On About Democracy With Spirit Week Election

Grade 3 students have been working on their Democracy, Presidents, and Media units of inquiry, and are practicing what theyʻve learned by organizing an election to determine the theme for one day of Spirit Week.

“This is a nice culminating activity that combines things learned from our units of Democracy, Presidents, and Media,” explained Seth Lee-Yee, Grade 3 teacher.

Grade 3 students were divided into six teams (two from each ʻohana group) – representing Military Day, Sports Day, Fantasy Day, Pajama Day, Twins Day, and Zodiac/Animal Day – then worked to organize a campaign for their theme. Their campaigns included creating and displaying campaign posters, developing a platform, and debating the merits of their theme.

At one of the Monday morning assemblies, each team presented its platform to the Elementary students through persuasive videos with speeches and props, urging the students to vote for their theme.

In a democracy, every citizen has a vote, so every student from Kindergarten to Grade 5 had a chance to vote for their choice. The older students cast their votes online through a Google form, while the Kindergarteners and Grade 1 students voted on special paper ballots.

“I like that all the Elementary students were involved in the decision making process,” shares Darci Asato-Garcia, Grade 3 teacher. “It was fun to see the excitement on the students’ faces each day as they watched the numbers on the Spirit Week board!”

After all the votes were tallied, Fantasy Day was the winner of the popular vote and became the official theme for Tuesday of Spirit Week.

“One of the things I really like about this activity is that it combines components of all of the units weʻve covered thus far, and it reinforces some of our central ideas – namely, having a voice,” said Lee-Yee.


Student posters hanging on stairs.

Campaign posters adorned the Elementary foyer, persuading students to vote for the different Spirit Week theme.


Digital display of voting results.

Votes for each theme were tallied and displayed in the Elementary foyer for all to follow.