As ballots are cast in the US Presidential election, teachers may be wondering how to teach about voting in their class. Unruly Splats is excited to release three new voting lesson plans called “Vote Splats” to introduce students to the different voting methods.
Vote Splats combines voting for kids with fun STEM activities. Students will have the chance to explore different methods of voting, and using Splats programming, will find out how their favorite characters fare in the upcoming School Principal elections!
It’s the big election day and the whole cast of Unruly characters are running to become the next school Principal. They’ve announced their platforms, shook lots of hands, and are now ready for you to make the big decision.
First, students will build a voting machine that records the voting tally using “when” statements. Each character is assigned to a Splat so that when their corresponding Splat is pressed to record a vote, that Splat turns gold and the score is increased by 1. This is what the code looks like:
Once the voting machine is built, students can start casting ballots. This voting lesson plan includes 3 varieties of gameplay:
With Simple Voting, students all get one vote, registered through a stomp, and the simple majority wins the election. That’s why we call it simple!
In Electoral College Voting, students will form 5 groups to represent states. Each state will have to come up with a single representative vote. Whichever candidate gets the most electoral votes (stomps!) wins.
Lastly in Ranked Choice Voting, students will each cast a vote. If one candidate gets more than 50% of the vote, that candidate automatically wins! If not, there will be a runoff second round where votes are cast between the 2 candidates who performed the best in round 1.
Ranked Choice, being the most challenging concept, comes with downloadable ballots, game codes, and a powerpoint that gives students background on how the voting process works.
As in all Unruly Splats games, this voting game for kids includes coding skills that get kids thinking critically and analytically. The Unruly voting lesson plan then takes those coding exercises and applies them to an extremely relevant topic in Social Studies!
Students will learn about the different forms of voting, from popular vote to rank choice, and other important Social Studies vocabulary. In the lesson plan, each voting variety includes discussion questions about how each voting process works and asks students to consider what positives and negatives there might be for each. The election game allows teachers to explore these crucial concepts at a high level with their students.. You may also find the lesson plan to be an exercise in Social Emotional Learning, as students must communicate with one another, expressing which candidates they like and why.
Download the voting lesson plan to get some ideas on how to teach about voting and get your students curious about a key part of democracy!