Student activism has always been a hallmark of American Democracy. Encourage your students to take action in their community and learn about State and Federal policies and legislation by writing a policy paper and creating a digital awareness campaign! This project fulfills the required AP Civics project for AP American Government and teaches students how to create change in a Democracy.
Students will be researching a State or National issue related to a political principle or political subject. Students will develop an argument that describes the intended outcome of the policy, explains how it would be implemented, and refutes opposing arguments. Students will write letters to elected officials explaining your position and proposal to improve policy and outcomes.
Step 1. Examine a public policy, court case, State policy/law or Federal Policy that student's believe should be reformed.
Step 2. Conduct historical research on that particular policy.
Step 3. Analyze the arguments on either side of the issue.
Step 4. Develop their position and improvement plan (How will would you replace the plan or improve it?) Write a Policy Paper synthesizing your research and orally present a campaign speech, commercial or letter advocating to create change.
Step 5. Advocate for change use their research papers to develop solutions create a digital campaign that includes a speech/ letter and/or commercial/video to try to create change.
Click Image below to get student materials.
After listening to the 1619 Podcasts from the New York Times I wanted to challenge my students to deconstruct historical narratives and challenge the dominant historical narratives that have permeated history education in America for centuries. In the student materials provided students will listen to the 1619 project, discuss its implications, deconstruct a historical narrative and learn how podcast. Click HERE to get the full project.
Each year my old school site would hold a "Symposium" for GATE and Honors students. This year we were not able to finish our projects due to COVID- But I really enjoyed developing this resource and hope it can be useful for other school sites.
What is Mendez' Symposium
GATE Symposium is an annual event unique to Mendez Fundamental School is Santa Ana and continues to be one of the most anticipated academic events of the school year. Students develop a question (based on a theme: Breaking Barriers), students then conduct scholarly academic research, write a research paper and create an interactive project to showcase their findings. Students utilize GATE pathways that incorporate depth, complexity, and content imperatives in order to investigate their research question. At Symposium night students present their findings and projects with the community.
This year we modeled it after National History Day's Theme "Breaking Barriers" but changed the process and outcomes for students.
1. Students investigate a topic of their choice (as long as it fits the Theme)
2. Students conduct Research
3. Organize their Research
4. Utilize GATE Depth and Complexity Icons (Developed by Dr. Sandra Kaplan from USC).
5. Develop a physical project to display information
6. Present to the community
Click The Image Below for Students Materials