Ask the children to propose a new school rule - "no football on the playground", for example. Then say only citizens can vote.
You choose the citizens by giving each of them a card - you might decide that citizens are people over a certain height, or people whose names begin with a consonant.
Repeat with different criteria so that everyone has the experience of being left out. Ask the class to guess the criteria you are using.
Have a mock election. Each candidate speaks about what he or she might do as a class representative.
The one who comes second has to think of an opposing programme so that when there's another election, the voters will have a choice.
The elected leader starts to think of rules that will silence the opposition. Will the winner of the election have the right to cancel the next election? How will the others handle this?
One third of the class (pick a selection criteria: oldest? tallest? sitting by the window?) elect a leader for the class.
The rest of the class try to persuade the leader to give them the vote. They have to say what they think and decide what persuasion they might use.
They might make speeches, or write pamphlets - and picking the right to do this is important.
Can they think of non-violent direct action (slipping in early and sitting in the voters' seats. Sitting on the floor and blocking the leader's exit)? Is it important to have the right to do this? Can they see how easily this can become violent? Would violence help?
For more information, take a look at the following websites
* www.wsu.edu:8080dee1108.HTM * www-adm.pdx.eduuser sinqgreekcivpoliticsjamie jamie.html * www.nwhpcatalog.org Women!s_Vote_and_Other_Rights2929.html * www.nara.govexhallcharters billrightsbillmain.html * gi.grolier.comwwiiwwii_mus solini.html eric hartmannmagnum