Running for Office — 5th Grade Edition

October 23, 2009



Maude, our 5th grader, recently ran for student council. Our school in New York didn’t offer student council, so this was our first opportunity to try something like this.

Maude was allowed to make 1 poster-board size poster. And give one speech. Here’s our report on both. These ideas worked well (she was elected!) and would be a good fit for 4th, 5th or 6th grade. Feel free to use the ideas if you have the need.



The Poster
I was out of full sheets of poster board, but I had a stack of orange poster board sections from a previous project (bonus point for using up what we had), so we pieced those together with lengths of ribbon to make a full-size poster. The sections broke up the space nicely and ultimately inspired the poster content.

We started with Maude writing her name in her regular handwriting. Then we thickened that up to make it something we could use as a template and cut out. We cut out 3 “maudes” from additional posterboard scrap, sprayed them with a light coat of spraymount and completely covered them with glitter (from the Martha Stewart collection — my all-time favorite glitter). We attached the names to the sections with double-sided tape.

On the 3rd-panel, in her own handwriting, Maude wrote little slogans about herself. Some rhymed with Maude (Maude is not flawed). Some didn’t.



The Speech
Before we started working on this, we assessed the situation. What had Maude heard? What kind of speeches were typical? From what we could gather, the legendary speech that her classmates still talked about was given by a boy who showed up with a bunch of helium balloons. He started by popping a balloon and saying: Now that I’ve got your attention… and continued to pop balloons throughout his speech. Knowing this was the pinnacle, we aimed to hit somewhere between balloon popping and reading the speech straight off a paper.

Here’s the transcript Maude ended up with:

I’d love to promise you, that if I get elected, homework will be abolished for the rest of the year! I’d love to promise that your favorite celebrities will visit our class. Like Taylor Swift and Carmelo Anthony!! I’d love to promise that each of you will get a million dollars!!!

But I can’t.

What I can promise, is that I’ll work hard, attend my meetings and give my best ideas.

To show you how dedicated I’ll be as your student council rep, I’m going to put 26 marshmellows in my mouth — one for each of you. Please count with me.

[Maude then proceeds to put full-size marshmallows in her mouth. She can only fit 3. At which point she puts her hand up in a stop motion and spits the marshmallows in a paper bag.]

Let’s try this again.

[Maude then pulls out a bag of mini-marshmallows, and the class counts with her as she stuffs her mouth with 26 mini-marshmallows. When she reaches 26, she spits them into the same paper bag.]

Thanks, everybody! Vote for Maude!!

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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rachel October 23, 2009 at 12:18 pm

Having served on a student council with Ben Blair, I must say that this marshmallow story sounds very much like HIM! Congratulations on the win.

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2 Brie October 23, 2009 at 12:24 pm

Maude's handwriting is far nicer and much easier to read than mine…and I am twenty four years old!

PS – Fantastic speech :) Congrats Maude!!

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3 k a t y October 23, 2009 at 12:24 pm

I certainly would have voted for her. Could she fit one more marshmallow in her mouth?

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4 Michelle Iverson October 23, 2009 at 12:24 pm

That is so cute and creative! Way to go Maude! Congratulations!!

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5 Priscila October 23, 2009 at 12:29 pm

how fun is that!!! I would vote!!!!
I was president in school too and I still remember my speech! haha

Come check me out
littlemissheirlooms.blogspot.com

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6 CMN October 23, 2009 at 12:37 pm

Okay, the marshmallow gimmick is HILARIOUS!

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7 Petit Elefant October 23, 2009 at 12:46 pm

What's wrong with me? That literally made me tear up, a little encapsulated view of her future. So cute.

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8 Elder and Sister McEvoy October 23, 2009 at 12:49 pm

Way to go, Maude!

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9 Deb October 23, 2009 at 1:25 pm

So clever and cute. I especially like the "Shake your bod and vote for Maude" on the poster.

Well done Maude!!

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10 ZDub October 23, 2009 at 1:32 pm

I love this! Maude is awesome! I would vote for her anyday!

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11 Barchbo October 23, 2009 at 1:33 pm

Like Deb, I liked "Shake your bod and vote for Maude!"

Unlike Maude, I prefer Cheerios to Applejacks. But she still has my vote! Go Maude!

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12 Autumn October 23, 2009 at 2:02 pm

SOOO cute!

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13 Chloe October 23, 2009 at 2:24 pm

That's fantastic and certainly memorable! So glad that she got elected – she'll have such fun.

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14 Abbers October 23, 2009 at 4:51 pm

this is so great.

"shake your BOD and vote for Maude" almost had me in tears laughing so hard.

i wish i had a speech like that when i ran in 6th grade… i TANKED! : )

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15 Sandy October 23, 2009 at 5:12 pm

Totally awesome ideas, and I, too, heart Martha's glitter!

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16 Farm Kids October 23, 2009 at 8:21 pm

Vote for Maude! But…….

Not very many parents are aware that stuffing a child's mouth full of marshmallows is actually a dangerous practice.

Marshmallows seem pretty innocuous (heck, I think they're delicious!) but with so many in a little person's mouth, they warm up and can seep down their throat covering the airway. There is no way to extract the marshmallow. Yikes.

I'm not a fear monger (really!), just thought I'd pass this along in case some of the kids decide to try Maude's trick at home.

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17 Inha October 23, 2009 at 8:21 pm

Who came up with the marshmallow idea? And the fact that Maude was brave enough to go through with it – so endearing! Definitely the super-coolest 5th grader I've ever come across! Go Maude! Congrats on your well-earned victory!

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18 michelle October 23, 2009 at 8:59 pm

Love the marshmallow idea. Very clever. Congrats to Maude!

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19 Anonymous October 23, 2009 at 9:56 pm

you had too heavy a hand in her project and her speech
no one who knows fifth graders would believe even 50 percent was hers

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20 Leila October 24, 2009 at 6:21 pm

Congratulations! I am running for city council – No campaign speeches planned but I love Maude's. She sounds way less terrified than I was when I ran for student council in 9th grade-and lost. Hummm…there are about 3000 people in our small town…

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21 Leila October 24, 2009 at 6:27 pm

Whoa Anonymous, if you are going to be critical be brave enough to leave a name or if you can't say something nice don't say anything at all. Helping a child succeed isn't the same as doing it for her. Maude had to have the guts and flair to pull it off.

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22 LJ October 25, 2009 at 10:16 am

I agree with Leila – Anonymous needs to post with an identity and stand behind his/her words or just shush up.

The poster was great and very cute. And I don't think mom had too heavy of a hand in it either. Mom & daughter collaborated to execute Maude's ideas.

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23 sarahbclark! October 26, 2009 at 10:44 am

i love the poster and the speech! glitter and marshmallows are two fantastic things. :)
some of the best ideas for these things come from fun kids and their creative parents working together on something.

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24 Brooke October 26, 2009 at 4:24 pm

I love that you used her handwriting for the signs. Great idea. Congrats Maude!!

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25 Anonymous October 27, 2009 at 2:35 pm

Honestly, this one felt like too much parent and not enough Maude for me. But Design Mom IS the DESIGN MOM.

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