President of the Jungle

60 min.

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Wonder of the Day #765

Why Do We Vote on Tuesdays?


Understand the need for leadership and government

Big Idea

What character traits make a good president?


The President of the Jungle by Andre Rodrigues, Lisa Ribeiro, Paula Desgualdo, Pedro Markun

Translated from Portuguese Eleição dos Bichos (Animals’ Election) by Lyn Miller-Lachmann

Summary by Mel Schuit: As King of the Jungle, Lion decides to reroute the cool fresh water from the nearby river to flow into his area so he can have a swimming pool. The other animals, less than enthused about this abuse of power, decide to stand up for themselves. After a fruitless protest, during which the Lion essentially ignores them, they decide to hold a democratic election to get down to brass tacks and discuss the issues at hand. With bolded key terms throughout (that are never pedantic), there's a nice glossary in the back with definitions.

Compare the political campaigns of the four candidates - the campaign posters and the slogans for Lion, Snake, Monkey, Sloth.

Have students fill out a ballot with the four candidates. On the back of the ballot have students write down the explanation for their vote. Compare the campaign strategies - what is appealing and a strength for each animal? What do students think are negative about each campaign and candidate?

Count the votes. Are the results the same as the results in the book?

(Note: I have a small problem w/sloths and lions in same jungle - it doesn't happen - but this is still a great book!)


  • Ballot Box
  • Campaign
  • Debate
  • Democracy
  • Demonstration
  • Election
  • Government
  • President
  • Rally
  • Vice President
  • Vote
  • Voter