10 Ways to Engage Summer Learners in the Election

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Summer is upon us and the 2016 political conventions are not far behind. While we have one eye on the campaign trail, we’ve got the other fixed on the impressive list of curricula resources being collected for Letters to the Next President 2.0 (L2P 2.0). Partners of this initiative have submitted their best articles, tutorials, and interactive tools to help educators engage learners age 13-18 in election issues that matter to their lives. Here are ten resources that you can use to incorporate L2P 2.0 into your summer learning programs.

Election Central 2016 from PBS LearningMedia
At Election Central 2016, teachers will find tools, resources and creative solutions to educate students on the various facets of the political process. With content about the process and history of elections, these tools help turn news coverage into learning opportunities. 

Election Collection from NYTimes Learning Network
Election news will dominate the headlines all summer long. Here are a few ways students can keep up with the candidates, campaigns, conventions and controversies — and make their own opinions heard. 

Letters to the Next President 2.0 Kick-off Webinar
In this hangout educators described the power of participating in the previous iteration of L2P and highlighted the growing set of opportunities and resources available to educators supporting youth engagement for the 2016 Presidential Election.

A Teacher's Perspective from Edutopia
Ellen Shelton, Site Director at the University of Mississippi Writing Project and former high school teacher in Tupelo, Mississippi, explains why she believes supporting this kind of political discussion in the classroom can have a deep impact on students now and in the future.


Teaching the Art of Civil Dialogue
Educator Chris Sloan reflects on using resources from Do Now, a weekly activity for students to engage and respond to current issues using social media tools.

Developing and Discussing Political Views In the Classroom
Educator Janelle Bence discusses some of her strategies for supporting students in discussing a wide range of political opinions in the classroom.

Election Activities Outside the Classroom
This blog post provides educators with a guide for developing L2P 2.0 letter-writing into a focused, whole-class civic action effort. 

NWP’s College-Ready Writers Program
The goal of this mini-unit is to support students as they explore the purpose and format of Letters to the Next President 2.0, choose an issue worth writing about, gather information from multiple sources, develop a claim and write a complete argument draft. 

Dear Next President from PBS NewsHour Extra
Encourage youth to talk about election issues that matter to them by producing a video letter to our next president.  Find key steps to creating a video for Letters to the Next President along with examples and tutorials to help young media makers get started.

Students' Stories from Letters to the President 2008
If you'd like to read some of the student letters from the first iteration of Letters to the Next President in 2008, this report from the National Commission on Writing is a great place to start. 

Sign up to receive bulletins from Letters to the Next President 2.0 with more great resources and opportunities coming this fall.