Donkey: Election Vocabulary

Topic: Election Vocabulary
CLI Strategy: Donkey
Subject: Social Studies 
Grade: Elementary

Students will be able to: Use and self-define vocabulary related to elections and voting


  • Players stand in a circle with the leader in the center.
  • The leader points to a player and calls out a figure. That player, plus the two players on either side of him or her, rushes to make the shape of that figure before the leader counts three.
    • For example, if the leader calls “Elephant one-two-three,” the player pointed to makes a long trunk with one arm, while the people on either side each form an ear in a “C” shape.
  • If any of the three people fail to get into position by the time the leader counts to three, that player sits down until another player misses then they can rejoin the game.
  • Teach a few basic positions/shapes such as elephant, toaster and palm tree so players understand the concept.
  • Besides shapes, the center player can also point to a player and call “Donkey one‐two‐three,” then the player says “Hee-Haw.” If the leader calls “Donut” that simply means to freeze in place making an O-shape with their mouth.
  • Once the basic game is understood by all players announce you will be adding shapes/poses the players will create. Have the players create a three-person shape to represent the vocabulary word.
    • Create Poses for: Elect, appoint, majority rule, governor, legislature and ballot.
  • Once students create the three person image, be sure to carefully reflect on each image.
    • Describe (What do you see?)
    • Analyze (What could that mean?)
    • Relate (How does this image relate to the vocabulary word?)
  • Play the game adding in the new poses/shapes by having each group teach the pose/shape for their vocabulary word to the entire group.

Scaffolding for Success

  • Ensure players understand the game before having them create poses;
  • Provide a definition for each vocabulary word;
  • Teach and add in poses/shapes one at a time.

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