Encourage critical thinking and self-expression by holding an election for favorite dinosaur!

Materials:

  • Pictures of popular dinosaurs
  • White construction paper
  • Tape
  • Markers
  • A three-paneled display board
  • Red, white, and blue tempura paint
  • A U.S. flag
  • A shoebox
  • Scissors
  • Poster board
  • A pencil

Instructions:

  1. Ask the children if they know anything about the most recent election (try not to let any arguments develop!) Simply explain the election process, describing how people vote and how the winner runs the country. Ask the children if they know who the president is now.
  2. Tell the children they will be having their own election. Since they are too young to vote for the president, they will vote for their favorite dinosaurs instead.
  3. Display the pictures of dinosaurs and ask the class to nominate their favorites. Try to keep the nominations limited to about three.
  4. Have the children decorate their “voting booth” (the three-paneled display board) by painting one panel blue, one red, and one white. Allow them to add stickers and American flags when the paint has dried.
  5. In addition, have the children cover the shoebox in white paper and stickers. Cut a slit in the box for the ballots.
  6. To make voting buttons, have the children cut out circles and print “I Voted!” on them in red and blue letters.
  7. If time allows, have the children make campaign posters for the dinosaur candidates.
  8. Once everything is set up, it’s time to vote! Call the children one at a time to cast their ballot inside the display-board voting booth. The child will circle one dinosaur and then place it in the ballot box before receiving their “I Voted!” button.
  9. Once all the votes have been cast, tally them up and see which dinosaur is the winner!

Source: The GIANT Encyclopedia of Science Activities by Kathy Charner