Slide deck for teachers – Election Simulation Toolkit

1 Election Simulation Toolkit
2Minds On

Do you want breakfast for dinner?

One minute to discuss

[Teacher’s notes: Encourage students to move around the room and speak with other students. The activity should feel a little chaotic. Do not give them any clarification on the question.]

3Minds On


Move to the yes or no area to vote.

4Minds On


  • How did the process of this vote feel?
  • Did it feel fair? Why or why not?
  • What would have made it more fair?

[Teacher’s notes: Announce the winning side, then ask these questions.]

5Inquiry Question

How can we take part in federal elections?

[Teacher’s notes: Explain that in a real election, many processes are in place to help everyone participate fairly. Through this activity, students will explore a variety of ways we can take part in federal elections.]




  • All Canadian citizens who are at least 18 years old have the right to vote in federal elections.
  • Today, everyone will be a citizen of our classroom.
  • You will also have another role as an election officer or as a member of a political party.

[Teacher’s notes: During this election, you (the teacher) will act as the returning officer. This is the person responsible for conducting the election in the electoral district where they live. Returning officers are eligible to vote, like any other citizen.]




How could we improve our school or community?

[Teacher’s notes: Some ideas to prompt student thinking are in the teachers’ guide. Write their ideas on the board, then choose two or three key issues together. Explain that students will work in small groups to understand one issue and propose solutions. This will be their party’s platform.]




Roles in our class election

Election officers: Set up and run the polling station, count the ballots and report the results.

Political party members: Groups will work together to form a political party and campaign for election.

[Teacher’s notes: Select two students to be the election officers. There are five roles in each political party. If groups are larger, some roles can be shared between two or more students. The activity is designed for no more than six political parties.]




Getting ready

The election officers

  • Polling Station Manual
  • Voting materials

[Teacher’s notes: To begin, have the election officers use the manual to affirm the solemn declaration and do the Does It Count? Activity.]




Getting ready

The political party members

  • Role cards
  • Speech template
  • Campaign research notes

[Teacher’s notes: To begin, have the political members divide the role cards among their group and select a candidate for election.]



Preparing the campaign

You will have 15 minutes to prepare the campaign.

Election officers: Use the Polling Station Manual to help you set up the polling station.

Political party members: Use your role card to help you prepare your campaign.

[Teacher’s notes: Set a timer so that all students can see it. The time can be expanded if needed, but the activity will then extend longer. Circulate to assist as needed. Write a numbered list of the candidates and their political parties on the board to help with the voting process later. All students are voters: they will need to show their ID before they can vote. Students can show their student ID or you can hand out the optional voter ID cards and have students make their own ID.]




Candidates deliver their speeches

  • One minute each
  • Questions from voters

[Teacher’s notes: Before you begin the campaign, review the classroom norms together. Highlight that students need to keep their questions focused on the issues and proposed solutions. If you wish to complete the whole activity in one class period, use a timer to limit the questions and answers to 1 minute per candidate.]




The ballot is secret

  • You do not have to support your own party or candidate if you feel another has done a better job.
  • If you are the candidate, you can vote for yourself.
  • The elected candidate will represent everyone in the class.



Voting Step by Step

  • Line up and show your ID.
  • Get your ballot and go behind the voting screen.
  • Mark the ballot for one candidate.
  • Fold the ballot and bring it back to the election officer.
  • Place the ballot in the ballot box.

Congratulations! Your vote counts!

[Teacher’s notes: Election officers can vote first to demonstrate the process using the poster. Once all students have voted, election officers count the ballots and report the results to the returning officer (teacher). After students vote, they collect their exit card and complete it individually while their classmates vote.]





  • Results of our election
  • Acceptance speech by the winning candidate

[Teacher’s notes: Congratulate all students on their efforts.]


Imagine running an election for the whole population of Canada. How might it be different from or similar to our classroom election?

A Look Back at the 2019 Federal Election

[Teacher’s notes: After the video have students Turn and Talk with a partner to discuss how the voter’s experience in a federal election is similar to and different from your experience in our classroom election.]



  • Do you think our election was fair?
  • What do you think made it fair or unfair?
  • How might our election have been different if more students in our school had voted?

[Teacher’s notes: To maintain a safe and supportive classroom environment, encourage students to focus on the issues and procedures, not on the candidates or other students. For example, you can ask them to think about how the vote was kept secret.]



  • What did you learn about your roles in today’s simulation?
  • Do you think our election was fair? How do you think the process helps to keep the election fair?
  • What questions do you have now?