First Graders at Cunningham Park ES Learn About Local Government, Hold Election

School News
January 19, 2021
first grade students

mayor speaking to studentsFirst graders at Cunningham Park Elementary participated in a project-based learning (PBL) activity that blended language arts and social studies content. First graders participated in an election for a fictional Vienna mayor where three storybook characters were candidates: Max from Where the Wild Things Are, Lilly from Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse, and Goldilocks from Goldilocks and the Three Bears. The entry event was a virtual meeting the Vienna mayor, Linda Colbert, to learn about her role in local government. First graders asked questions about her job, her daily schedule, and how she helps the Vienna community. Mayor Colbert also took the students on a virtual tour around the Vienna Town Hall, including the town council chambers and shared some Vienna history. In the following days, students read and studied about the three fictional storybook characters and identified their multiple character traits. Then they created a campaign poster for the storybook character they believed would be the best mayor. The first-grade classes had a virtual PBL share fair where they practiced being communicators in small groups, presenting their posters and listening to other students’ perspectives and ideas. The first graders elected Lilly from Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse, as the winner, and participated in meaningful discussions about being respectful of the winning candidate, even if their favorite candidate wasn’t picked. Contact news liaison Keri Mina at