Lesson Plan - Get It!
It could have been a story on the evening news or an outrageous event you heard about from someone else. It caused you to say, They ought to pass a law … !
What is one thing you would get changed if you were in charge of the government?
Here’s the good news: You are in charge of the government! Well, you and tens of millions of your fellow citizens. One way to become an engaged citizen is by learning how to make your voice heard!
During the election season of 2016, it seemed that people's trust in government was at an all-time low.
Big companies and special interests rule, they said. While our political system may be complicated by factors such as these, the fact remains that public opinion is a very strong motivator for politicians. The only way for our government representatives to know what we are thinking is if we tell them.
One tried-and-true method is to write a letter. Read this article, How to Write Your Congressman, by Harry Burger, retrieved from The Art of Manliness. As you read, write down the key points for the following key sections:
- Before You Write
- Writing the Letter
- Receiving a Response
Reflect and share the information and ideas you uncovered with a parent or teacher. Discuss:
- Have they ever communicated with a government official?
- What issue did they bring up?
- How did they communicate their thoughts and opinions?
- What kind of response did they receive, if any?
- How does their experience and advice relate to the article you read?
As with most other forms of communication, writing to a government official requires you to be informed and organized. That will take a little planning, forethought, and modeling.
Continue on to the Got It? section to examine some sample opinion letters.