Fifth graders discuss presidential candidates, election issues

Students sitting at computers smiling.
Students tabulate results of their class surveys.

Goshen Intermediate School students in Elizabeth Jung’s fifth grade class recently conducted a class survey about the top issues of this year’s election.

The students surveyed friends and family, either in person or by phone, about election issues that they felt were of highest priority: healthcare, economy, education, security, or “other.”

The survey data was collected by using a tally chart. After adding up the results, students created a double bar graph – one with his or her individual survey results, and one with the results of the entire class – in order to visualize the survey’s outcome. This activity, performed during their computer lab, allowed them to apply real world problem-solving using mathematics and technology.

In all, 362 people were surveyed. The order of priority for the issues was:

  • Security, 111 votes
  • Economy, 93 votes
  • Healthcare, 77 votes
  • Education, 58 votes
  • Other, 23 votes.

The students discussed the results as a class and concluded that the issue of security was most important to their friends and family members because without the security of our country, the rest of the issues are not as important.

The students have compared both Presidential candidates on at least two issues and have learned that it is important to be informed on the issues and the candidates’ stances before voting.

“They are learning that it is part of our civic duty to be an informed voter before going to the polls,” said Jung.