I love teaching fifth grade, but the thought of teaching fifth grade during an election year is THE BEST. It is important to teach students about the process of  how our nation elects a leader. I work in a school district where many students are new to our country. Even when students are from here I am 99.9999% sure if you asked an average fifth grade what the Electoral College is, they would say I am not sure where that college is located. I find the election process quite interesting and I think it is vital that students have some knowledge of the process and how are leader is elected. Below I am going to share my favorite picture books to teach your students about the presidential election. No matter what your beliefs are, I think it a MUST to spend a few days or weeks studying this democratic process. I always tell my students it's not about the product it's about the process. I bring it back to their thinking. It is important to know the WHY and the HOW! It makes you a more intelligent person. 

 The books above give students a glimpse of the process, the office, and the branches in our democracy. How you use these books is up to you! You can display in your classroom and let the students research topics that interest them or you can do different lessons with each of the books. Ramona Recommends (I) held housed a voting poll for 5 minutes in her (my) office this weekend to select her (my) four favorites to share how she (I) use them in my classroom. Yep, I was the only voter. :)

 Before I open my bag of election books, I show my students BrainPop's How to be President Video. If you do not have BrainPop at your school, I highly suggest it. The videos are created at an elementary content level to engage all student learners. In the search feature, type in Presidential Election for this video. 


Before I start reading, I ask my students how many votes for the presidential race does our state (California) receive? This gives me an idea if any of the students have been learning about the race at home or have prior knowledge from previous grades. Most kids have no clue.  I share that our state (California) has 55 votes. Want a list of the each states electoral college numbers, Stephanie from Falling Into First has a great handout. Then we talk about how in order to win a candidate must have 270 votes. By know, the kids are raising their hands with a million questions. What do I do? Of course, I reach into my picture book bag and "presidentially" pull out Grace for President. Before that I read up on the electoral college because lets be real it is sometimes confusing. Want to read about it, click here?

After reading Grace for President, I have the students write in their own words what the electoral college is and how it affects the people.

How do we Vote? Amelia Bedelia shares how!

I found this book while I was sitting in Barnes and Noble one afternoon just browsing books. So You Want to Be President? is a Caldecott Medal winner. The story begins with the author sharing the good and bad of being POTUS (President of the United States) One of my favorite parts of the story is when they discuss about living in The White House. Now that George H. W. Bush is the President he never has to eat broccoli again! It discusses the jobs of the President and how they must take an oath to protect our country.

After reading this story, I have my students research more about the role of the President. We make a thinking map (Tree Map) to help categorize our ideas. We also use this handout about the roles of the president to guide our instruction. They take the information they have learned create a final masterpiece from the following choices: Create a song about the roles of the president, Create a powerpoint that is engaging to teach younger students, or create a game show about the roles president.


I love knowing random facts about the presidents and
Hanoch Piven author of My Dog is as Smelly as Dirty Socks, creates an artistic representation biography of each president.  What Presidents are made of is an ALL TIME favorite of mine! I have not done the following art project, but I think this would be fun. Have each student pick a president and have them create their own president selfie using materials from their desk, classroom, or home. Include an informational 1 page paper to go with.
Click on the picture to get a FREE copy of this list. Send home for parents or share with teachers at your school. :)

If all you have time for is reading these books and then moving back into scheduled content that is STILL AMAZING. Picture Books TEACH!

Ready to Buy Now: Here is a handy dandy list of all the books with links included.

The Process
Grace For President
Amelia Bedelia’sFor
Today on Election Day!
I Dissent 

 All of the books linked in this post are affiliate links. Thank you for helping support my love for picture books. :)
Since I am going to be teaching all about the Election in my own classroom, I went searching on TpT to find resources. There were a lot that grabbed my interest. I tried thinking of my students and they way they learn. Below are some of the ones I am thinking of purchasing. 

The Election Process

Running a Classroom Election

Reading Comprehension ELECTION DAY!

Letter to Parents About Election Classroom Instruction (freebie)

All About The White House

Election Vocabulary Posters

Comparing and Contrasting Candidates

Click here for a free copy! I also have provided a copy that reads "All Students" and does not say STORM bucks.

How do you teach about such an important event in our history? Do you use picture books? Share below!

Tonight is a raw post. I am literally writing my thoughts and checking my grammar and clicking PUBLISH!  #reallife
I find it interesting that many teachers including myself struggle with perfection. We want to have a pinterest classroom, a perfect lesson, no problems, high achieving students, and no bad days. BUT! That is not reality. As I was driving home tonight after putting in almost a 12 hour school day, I was thinking about my dad and my students. I love my students. I truly love each one of them. Teaching is my passion. It is who I am. It is what makes me feel like a superhero. Sometimes even though I love my job I do not feel like a superhero. Some days or even weeks are HARD! As I was having an inter dialogue with myself about my day, the song "I'm only one Call Away" came on.

Teachers are SUPERHEROES. We are! Superman doesn't have anything on us. But! We need each other to help. We need the kids to help and the parents. We are not in this alone. Guess what, it is ok to have a bad day and ask for help.

Shelly Becker and I want you to know EVEN SUPERHEROES Have Bad Days! I found this book at Barnes and Nobel this weekend. It was screaming my name. It reminded me that sometimes you just need to have a bad day, eat ice cream, not finishing grading, sit on the couch, and then go to bed. IT IS OK! You're OKAY!

You might be wondering what I am trying to get at? Let me tell you. Kids are human just like us. They have bad days too. How can we help support them to know they are not alone? Well, as you might have predicted I think picture books can solve most problems. Even Superheros Have Bad Days delicately teaches kids and adults how to hand "bad days". The story shares when superheroes have bad days they could.... "use super-powers to crush wooden crates and bend metal gates" or "use laser eyes to ignite forest fires", BUT instead they use their powers to chase wanted bad guys with super-charged zings or taking them to jail. I like how the book acknowledges bad choices and demonstrates how to channel frustration, bad days, and more. The superheros find sunshine in their cloud.

Lets be each other's superhero because Even SUPERHEROES HAVE BAD DAYS. It's ok to be sad, overwhelmed, or mad. Howyou handle the situation determines your grit level. How high is GRIT meter? We all can be perfect in our own superhero way. (affiliate link was used)

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