A Different Kind of Political News Story

My students are mostly 10 and 11 years old, but here they are calling the White House:

With a big election coming up in the United States, many people wonder if their votes really matter. Does one person’s voice really make a difference? Where do you want to get your food.png

In Social Studies class, we’ve been learning about the political process, through a project called Democracy in Action. We didn’t document the whole decision-making process, but each class chose an issue they are passionate about, and designed an action. In order to do this, they had to agree on what change they wanted to see, figure out how changes in government get made, and then work together to find ways to influence our nation’s laws.

This process took many hands, and many hours, culminating in these projects, completed during their final hour of class this week. I couldn’t be prouder.

My morning class decided to focus on protecting land for animals and people to live on safely. They ultimately chose to call President Obama’s office to advocate for him to stop the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. It was a little scary and extremely exciting to make these calls:

My afternoon class chose to focus on fair living conditions for farm animals. trappedThey were interested in Massachusetts ballot question #3, which argues that animals not be allowed in cages where they can’t turn around, stand, or fully extend their limbs. After a lot of discussion, they decided to focus on going further than question #3, pushing our senators to fight for a similar law across the entire country.

We discussed ways to communicate our ideas, through email, letters, or even an article published in a newspaper. Ultimately, video seemed like the most fun idea, and the students were excited to see me contribute my balloon skills to the process. Without further ado, here’s their final product, which we’ll send via YouTube Link to Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey. They hope it might also convince some MA voters who haven’t gotten to the polls yet.

The U.S. political process can certainly be frustrating, but there’s still space for each person, even under 18, to have a say. If you’re an American adult reading this, do my students a favor and use your voice to vote this week.

Categories: Innovation Academy, USA

5 replies »

  1. This is truly amazing! Thank you for sharing and encouraging people to voice their concerns! It’s so important. Thank you!

  2. We had a lot of fun doing this. I had looked up how to contact and help people in the Dakotas as a class. Sarah and I were taking with the kids on how they would like to help. We researched who to contact in our three branches of government to try and stop or reroute the pipe line. Then I called the White House first so the students would know how to express an idea or opinion. After that the students wrote what they wanted to say and then they called. It was very exciting to see all of them voice their ideas.

  3. Your students teach us how exciting and nice to express our own ideas! I am so happy to see Sara-sensei’s students’ excitement to call White House. And I am so moved by the Animal Sapce Group News Show! Thank you very much. We learned a lot!!!

  4. A wonderful way of learning, I am sure kids have enjoyed and learnt the real world facts effectively. Great innovation

  5. Wow, this is amazing!!! That’s so wonderful that your students called the White House calling for action on important issues!! These students are truly learning what it means to be a global citizen. Also, the video is very well done! It’s clear that both you and your students put a lot of hard work into it.
    Thank you for encouraging your students to take action on their concerns; they’re developing great skills for the future!


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