TURNING STUDENTS INTO CITIZENS: CLASSROOM EXPERIENCES
A menu of interactive, in-school, or virtual lessons, delivered either by League-trained facilitators or the classroom teacher, that motivate and equip students and young adults to vote and take action.
Fighting for the Vote
MODULE 1: The Suffrage Timeline (What’s it worth?)
Immerses students in the sacrifices made to gain the vote— from the start of the nation through the ongoing fight against voter suppression. They join a human suffrage timeline as the avatars they are assigned fight for and gain the vote.
MODULE 2: The Truth about Turnout (Who’s got the power?)
Engages students in an analysis of turnout data focusing on their own age group and ethnicity. They role-play to challenge typical excuses for not voting.
MODULE 3: Vote by Design (How do I choose?)
MODULE 4: How to Vote: Rules of the Road
Equips students to tackle barriers to registering and voting.
- Voting Simulation
In-person experience from registration to reading a sample ballot, to signing in at the polls, to learning when and how to ask for a provisional ballot, and finally, to vote.
- How to Vote: Rules of the Road
Video of training for The Suffrage Timeline and The Truth About Turnout modules and for Voting Simulation planning.
Fighting for Change
MODULE 1: WHAT'S YOUR ISSUE? HOW DO I DETERMINE ISSUES IMPORTANT TO ME?
Students learn that leadership is important, but that leadership is a group process and needs engaged supporters – the fourth branch of government – them. They explore the qualities of an effective leader via discussion of current issues.
MODULE 2: I AM (inform, act, monitor) How do I effect change?
Students identify an issue of importance to them and how the issue evidences itself. Bringing attention to their position, and knowing their rights when doing so, students draft policy and advocate for it.
MODULE 3: Across the divide (How do I actively listen? How do I speak to be heard?)
Students learn to speak so others can ‘hear’ them and listen to understand the beliefs of others. Skills practice helps students learn to express their concerns with conviction and civility.
For more in-depth learning, additional lessons are available. (firstname.lastname@example.org).
This series of three lessons involves participants in lessons from the League of Women Voters suite of materials that help prepare students to become civically engaged beyond just voting.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES/civics engagement OPPORTUNITIES
- NJ Center for Civic Education
- We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution – provides an understanding of the philosophy underlying our Constitution and Bill of Rights, their impact in history and current-day relevance.
- Project Citizen – a project-based program that helps students understand public policy and emphasizes responsible participation in local and state government agencies to effect change.
- Mock Election
- Vote by Design (Stanford Univ. Design School)
- iCivics.com – teacher-designed civics lessons
- The Teaching Channel – an online community for educators
- LWV Monmouth Hot Topics ( 2020 Census, Ballot Security, and other up-to-the-minute of interest topics)
- TEXT helpline 732-927-1131 immediate registration and voting help
- VOTE411– LWV info on all things voting in the USA
- How To Vote By Mail
INDIVIDUAL LEADERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
- Governor’s Youth Advisory Council – meet with the governor and/or staff person every other month to provide input from youth on legislation affecting them
- Docent at the Smithsonian Museum on Main Street exhibit Voices and Votes: Democracy in America
- Youth Advisory Board – a diverse group by age (18-29), gender, ethnicity/race, and education type who set direction and policy for Energizing Young Voters
- Internships (data analysis, research, …) – semester length, university students
- Service Points – Volunteerism, high school age —social media monitoring, administrative assistance, VOTE411 nudging, presenting, materials reviews
- Student Advocate Toolkit – using this reference tool, help others register and vote
- Fighting for Change—Module 3
SCHOOL-BASED VOTER REGISTRATION INITIATIVES
- League of Women Voters -visit https://www.lwv.org/ and scroll down to find your local League. Contact them to set up a voter registration drive in your area
- Student Voting Toolkit slides and guides (English & Spanish) to help students help older adults navigate unfamiliar registration and voting procedures
- #MyVoiceMyVoteNJ – collaboration with NJPSA to provide in-school voter registration drives