Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
Standard PCS 07. Skills of Civic Engagement
Benchmark HS.1 Utilize the persuasive power of written or oral communication as an instrument of change in the community, nation or the world.
Benchmark HS.2 Discuss a public policy issue affecting the common good and demonstrate respect and courtesy for differing opinions.
Benchmark HS.3 Participate in acts of democratic citizenship in the community, state or nation, such as petitioning authority, advocating, voting, group problem solving, mock trials or classroom governance and elections.
In this lesson, we explore the importance of each person's right to vote and the injustice of limiting that power.
The learner will:
- identify historic examples of groups be assured the right to vote.
- identify issues they would stand up for or vote for.
- copies of Handout: Use Your Voice
Look up the "voter registration form" for your state and discuss the requirements. Ask the learners why it is important to vote. Look up and discuss stories from history and around the world of groups fighting for their right to vote. See the handout below for Constitutional Amendments related to voting rights.
Even after these Amendments, many people are still discriminated against when it came time to vote. Some practices turn people away or make it hard to vote. What stories have you heard in the news lately about turning voters away (requiring drivers' license)?
Briefly discuss voting as a right and a responsibility of living in a democracy. Ask, "Why is voting a right for each individual? Why is it a responsibility for each of us?"
Many people all over the world have struggled and died for the right to vote. Why is voting so important that people will risk their career and life to gain the right?
- What difference does it make who gets elected?
- What could a candidate say to gain your vote?
- What might they say that would cause you to vote against them?
- What would you say if you were trying to get elected?
Discuss “close calls” in voting history. In the presidential election of 2000, there was a recount that took five weeks to decide whether Al Gore or George Bush had been elected president because the results had been so close. Discuss the 2020 election where people were convinced there was voter fraud and a riot threatened the peaceful transfer of power.
Talk about ways to use their voice through voting and by advocating for the issues that are important to them. If they are not old enough to vote, they can still share information about issues and encourage their friends and family to register.