Today I taught my APUSGOV class all about congressional elections, which was cool because a bunch of my students are actually going to vote in their first one tomorrow. I started by going over how to register same-day and showing a sample ballot, and taking questions about voting. Then went into the actual lesson on constitutional requirements to run for Congress, the primary and general process, redistricting, etc… At the end, I had them play The Redistricting Game, which is addictive, and read this Washington Post article on gerrymandering.
Campaign finance law next class, kids…
In World/English, students wrote current events essays. They’ve done that before, but this time Mrs. T and I asked them to put in-text citations in their work. They learned how to do in-texts last week, and practiced that a bit, so most had no trouble doing them today. Mrs. T helped the ones who needed it while I kept a general eye on the Cavern. It was pretty smooth; I separated one pair of boys who kept distracting each other, but that’s nothing, really.
During the second half of the double block, we asked students to look up more information about their current event, take notes on it, and cite the source. That familiarized them with our research note-taking process, which they’ll need soon. Next class, they’ll revise their essays, add the new info, and practice citing multiple sources in-text. This can be intimidating to students who struggle with informational writing because it’s a step or several beyond the basics, so the trick is to be a constant source of calm, encouragement, and positivity.
That’s the trick with most things.