We have been learning about the 3 Branches of Government and what each branch does. We have also done some reading in our Scholastic News about some differences between the two candidates for president, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.
Last week, Ms. Stanbro set up a mock election in the library through the Studies Weekly Every Kid Votes program. Computer voting "booths" were set up with privacy folders.
Once students voted, they got to have their pictures taken with the "candidates".
Our main social studies topic all year is Maine. Normally, learning about Maine's government is a spring topic, which culminates with a trip to Augusta, our capital, to tour the state house and have a mock debate. While in Augusta, we also visit the Maine State Museum, which houses exhibits related to Maine industries, history, animals, and way of life.
This year, however, we switched it up a bit by going in October. We did this for a couple of reasons. First, since it's an election year, we wanted students to understand more about government and what the different branches do. The state government has executive, legislative, and judicial branches just like the national government, and there is a lot of overlap in the roles of each branch.
The second reason we wanted to go in the fall is because of Jane Eberle.
Jane is a state representative from South Portland. For many years she has graciously come in to talk with our students before their trip and teach them about the job of a legislator and the process of how laws are made. When we get to Augusta, she is our tour guide through the state house, facilitating a mock public hearing and debate on a topic of our choice. Because of term limits, Jane cannot run for representative again. By going to Augusta now, we got to have one last trip with her. She was amazing, as always! Thank-you Jane!
Thank-you also, to all the chaperones who so generously took the time to join us for the trip. It was a busy and tiring day, as evidenced by some drowsy dads on the ride home!