How can students voice their perspective on issues that matter to them?
It’s important for students to learn how to craft an argument, publicly present their perspectives about civic and political issues, and develop their own civic voice. With the rise of digital media and online platforms, young people now have significantly more opportunities to produce and circulate ideas and information. At the same time, educators can help youth reflect on the public and persistent nature of online content and carefully consider what to circulate and to whom. Take a look at the resources on this page to learn more about helping students develop their civic voices.
Using Digital Media to Support Students’ Civic Expression
In this video ninth grade students create digital stories that illustrate their American identity and reflect on the American creed of today.
Students reflect on what they learned during class by formulating a brief but compelling tweet.
Watch this video to see how twelfth grade teacher Chela Delgado guides her students to design an infographic that visually displays the key aspects of the issue they researched, the root cause, and a theory of change.
Learn how Youth Radio — a media production company in Oakland, CA — works with young people to get their voices out there by producing compelling pieces for radio, video, the web, blogs, podcasts, and other platforms.
In this video, students begin to write a commentary about an issue they care about, which they will later publish via radio and/or social media.
Spark Your Persuasive Writing: 3 Simple Prompts
Watch how Teresa uses three simple questions to draw out ideas that students can write about for a persuasive essay, commentary or creative writing
Digital Civics Classroom Resources
The resources in the VOICE module of Digital Civics Toolkit includes hands-on activities you can use to engage students in considering what, how, when, why and to what end they can create, remix and otherwise repurpose content to share with others in online spaces.
In the digital age, it is key for young people to consider what to express and to whom when sharing their civic and political perspectives online. This video touches on some of those core considerations and can be shared with your students.
Watch how Julie Manley, a middle school ELA teacher, engages her students in analyzing, writing, and presenting persuasive speeches on issues that matter to them. For a more detailed peek into each day of the project you can watch the following videos:
This video features the first day of the project, where students examine elements of argumentative writing.
In this video, watch day two of the project, where students give speeches and provide peer feedback using a rubric.
See how Julie Manley goes about planning a lesson series on persuasive speeches.
In this last of the four videos in this series, Julie Manley reflects on how students did as both speakers and listeners.
Promoting Student Voice
Another way students can express voice in a meaningful way is to be involved in key decision-making at their school and to participate in authentic school activities. Check out these two approaches for promoting student voice.
Watch how students broadcast school news via a school website.
Learn about the benefits of Student Voice Committees and how Chicago Public Schools is supporting these school-based student governance bodies that empower students to lead meaningful and relevant school improvement initiatives in collaboration with school administration.