We are teachers in the Academy of Global Studies at Winton Woods High School in Cincinnati. This unique program provides opportunities for students to do authentic work that mirrors what professionals do in their careers, and develop skills that prepare them for college. To that end, we endeavor to engage our students in projects that solve problems and create meaningful content for real-world partners, such as businesses, local governments, and other community members.
In our integrated US Government and Language Arts class, we will be spending the rest of the year examining political parties, interest groups, the legislative branch, and the legislative process. We are seeking a partnership with our state representatives and senators as we execute these projects. The Winton Woods School District draws students from Ohio House Districts 28 and 33, and Ohio Senate Districts 8 and 9. We are hoping you can partner with and provide support for our students in a couple of ways.
As we finish up our unit on political parties in early March, we would like to invite you to participate in a panel to listen to, help evaluate, and provide feedback on our students’ persuasive speeches on political parties. In groups, students must persuade the audience that the party and platform they created is the best choice for America. These panels will occur on March 17th, from 9:48-11:30 AM and from 12:30-2:13 PM. Shortly after that, we will begin a unit the legislative branch. Students will research Ohio legislation and ultimately write their own proposals for new legislation to for the General Assembly. In groups, they will also identify and contact relevant interest groups, solicit advice from members of the General Assembly, and create Public Service Announcements that illustrate a need for a new or amended law. They will also develop multi-genre writing projects that illustrate varying perspectives how the issue impacts individuals and groups in different ways. We would like for you to speak to our students about the aspects of your role as a member of the General Assembly so that they may have firsthand knowledge about what our state senators and representatives do on a regular basis. Additionally, the opportunity would exist to conduct workshops and work directly with student groups as they create their legislation. The timeline for these visits would be flexible, but could occur virtually any time between now and the beginning of our final exams, May 22 (barring any conflict with state testing dates). At the end of the project (approximately May 14), students will host an issues forum where they will display their PSA and roll out their plans for legislation. We also invite you to attend this event.
We would also like your help in one other way. For each project, we give our students an “entry event”. This is a letter or video describing the fundamentals of the project. We would love for you to create a video (we can provide the script) in the State House asking students to create meaningful legislation. We would need this done by March 25th. Here is a link to an example from a previous project.
Ideally, we would love for our students to be able to visit the Statehouse in Columbus. We are currently trying to arrange a date and financial plans to bring the students to Columbus, tour the State House, and visit The Ohio State University.
Your involvement could be as much or as little as you are able, depending on your availability to communicate and collaborate with our students. We would welcome any help and input from you or your staff.
We would love to speak with you to further clarify our goals and what exactly this partnership would entail. We hope that this type of outreach to the educational community is something that would fit in with your schedule. Can we arrange a phone conversation on Monday the 9th? The best number to reach us at is 513-453-2841. Please visit our class website at www.agswarriors.weebly.com to see more about our class and examples of previous projects and student products. Thank you, David Traubert Lauren Berens AP US Government English/Language Arts Winton Woods High School
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