Vote Maths! UK General Election 2017 KS2 Topical Maths Activities [3]

By David Leighton 

Use these Maths activities for the UK Election in 2017 bring purpose and context to Key Stage 2 investigations for primary school mathematics; third in the summer series of blogs linking classroom KS2 Maths lessons and resources to topical, calendar-based events.

Though a general election wasn't due until 2020, Prime Minister Theresa May has called for one to take place on Thursday 8th of June. The country has scrambled to prepare for the election and campaigning is now underway.

Here at Third Space Learning, we've scrambled to prepare for the election in our own special way – via a topical Maths post of course! The general election is a fantastic opportunity to help pupils understand the mechanisms of government, as well as how voting works.

What better way to show pupils how to use their power as citizens of the UK? Or improve their wider social awareness? With the activities below you can help your pupils prepare for life outside of a school, all while conducting a great Maths lesson!

Free download: 

20 topical maths problems & investigations for June - July 2017


UK Election Maths activity 1: 'The Ice Cream Ballot'

Election of the best flavour of ice cream  1

Follow these instructions to hold an ice cream ballot for your class:

  1. Print out copies of the ballot card above and give one to each of your pupils.
  2. Ask pupils to rank the four flavours in the column to the right (in ranking order best to worst with values 1-4).
  3. Then as a class (or group) collect them in and tally which received the most votes using the relative majority system (which ice cream had the most ones next to it).
  4. Then tally votes using the absolute majority system. This is a little more complex, so the steps for ordering are broken down here:
  • Order flavours by the number of ones.
  • Then take the flavour with the lowest number of ones and redistribute to the other three flavours, using the twos on the ballot papers.
  • Now do the same for the new lowest group.
  • Stop when one flavour has more than 50% of the votes.

Discuss: Did the same nominee win using both categories? If not, why? Which do you think is the fairest system?


UK Election activity 2: 'Maths Majority'

Majority vote

Use the image above as an instigator for the following discussion:

This image is of how many people voted in the 2010 general election, by political party. Use it to work out how many people voted overall. Now work out how many none voters would need to vote for the Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats, etc. to have more voters than the Conservative party.

Finally, work out what fraction/percentage of people did not vote in the 2010 election.

UK Election Maths activity 3: 'Election Estimations'

Voter thing

The bar graph shows the number of votes each of the main political parties received in the last general election. Estimate the number of votes received by each party.

Extension: As a class, decide on the closest estimation for each party. Using those estimations, work individually to create a pie chart showing how many people voted for each political party. 

Good luck with the election Maths, don't forget to tweet us @thirdspacetweet and tell us what your class or school finds our election Maths activities!

This post is the third of our new topical Maths investigation series for summer-term 2017 which links classroom KS2 Maths lessons and resources to calendar-based events. Follow the links below to each post:

  1. Share-a-Story Month activities
  2. Walk to School Week activities
  3. Election Maths
  4. FA Cup Maths activities
  5. Ramadan Maths activities
  6. Child Safety Week activities

And for more topical problem solving tasks linked to calendar-based events for the Summer Term don't forget to download your free topical problem solving resource

Or follow the links here for our hugely popular spring-term topical Maths series:

  1. Heart Month Months activities
  2. Shrove Tuesday Maths activities
  3. World Book Day Maths activities
  4. International Women's Day Maths activities
  5. British Science Week Maths activities
  6. Holi Maths activities
  7. Red Nose Day Maths activities
  8. Easter/Lent Maths activities

To find out more about our 1-to-1 Maths specialist intervention for your KS2 pupils, visit our Year 6 SATs foundation page, and for more information on earlier years, see our Year 3, 4, & 5 catch up programme

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