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!!