Starting the school year in remote virtual learning classroom hasn’t slowed down second graders in Leigh Cline and Melissa Shaw’s classroom at Parkway Elementary School. In the days leading up to the election, the students studied and dove deep into the rights, beliefs, and the election process across all of their subjects. Through an interdisciplinary study in the days leading up to the election, students were asked to read, write, and discuss through books and activities what it meant to engage them in this national event. There was seemingly no better way to engage students in the democratic process than to host a debate with a very pressing question; which cookies are better: chocolate chip or Oreo?
Mrs. Cline took on the role of the Oreo and Ms. Shaw the chocolate chip cookie. A debate was held and each candidate dressed for the occasion, sporting the cookie in question as part of their debate outfit. Student-teacher, Ms. Rosie Bill, was tasked with the role of acting as a moderator. Candidates were given time to campaign for why they thought they were the best cookie and answered questions with sincerity. Questions such as, “How would you respond to the opinions that say you are less tasty than your opponent?” and “Which of you is better for dunking?” The answers to the questions were crucial for students to hear to help make an educated decision of where to cast their vote. Throughout the debate as each cookie stated their case you could see students’ reactions and obvious feelings towards what was being said by the candidates. Students began pulling out their own posters they created about who people should vote for with lots of thumbs up and thumbs down covering the screen. Students were incredibly invested and engaged in the democratic voting process.
Once each candidate rested their cases, it was time for the students to vote. Students filled out their Google form with which cookie they thought was best and anxiously awaited the results. When all the votes were tallied and counted, the question of who is the best cookie was answered; chocolate chip cookie took the win by 2 votes!