All of us—and I do mean ALL OF US—are completely ready for this Presidential election cycle to be in the rear view mirror, right? It has been a mind-boggling and for some, an anxiety-ridden experience to have lived in this country over the last 18 months and to have watched the various candidates spit and spar through the cycles of the primaries and the general election. Every day has brought new allegations and accusations and alliances that intrigue us, often shock us and too often disgust us. We’re so looking forward to the end of it all, and yet we all know there is no “end of it all.” We have options, of course. We can turn off the TV and Twitter, lock the front door, and settle in with a good book and a bottle of our favorite beverage. Or we can grit our teeth and bear down, committing ourselves as dutiful citizens of our great country and work to make things better for the future. That’s what I’d wager we’ll all do eventually, after we’ve had a nap.
Speaking of classroom teachers…check out this persuasive prompt on compulsory voting that might be fun to trot out about now, if your students need to practice writing argument – to practice stating a position or a claim and finding strong evidence to support it. I like the way this prompt is constructed. It provides just enough context to get students who aren’t paying any attention to current events a place to start. And those who are following the election noise should have plenty to write about. So here’s the prompt and here’s a rubric for scoring, for those that need one. I think if I were using this writing assignment now, I would require students to formulate their own opinions, draft their support based on whatever is going on in their minds in the moment, and THEN conduct a bit of online research, looking for quotations or statistics or those perfect examples that would help them strengthen their initial arguments. And cite the sources correctly, of course.
Links to PDFs