Take your American Government or Civics, Current Issues, U.S. History, or English class to the next level with this authentic research and essay writing project by engaging your students to gain the confidence of engaging their civic voice with their larger community!
Cultivating great writing skills isn’t hard. You just need highly scaffolded, step-by-step directions and models. Let's make this year a great year of writing!
taking one’s words and thoughts, perfected over years in the classroom, to the real world in order to create authentic change.
This nation holds higher than anything else its free speech and free press, yet so few meaningfully engage it with their community. Town halls are sorely attended and newspapers are struggling to stay alive. Twitter and YouTube are great content providers, but still fail to replace the “long-form” articulated, deep conversations of the local paper’s Opinion section.
Challenge your students to be part of the quality, in-depth discussion of their favorite and most important issues by researching one about which they are passionate, selecting the appropriate media outlet, and writing a formal Op-Ed essay, arguing a thoughtful and well-supported position.
Replace the boring textbook with the topics and activities that matter to your students and help them create products that will influence the world beyond your classroom walls.
Included in this project package:
- Project Steps sheet-
takes students from brainstorming to submitting in 6 scaffolded steps
- 5 Free Write sheets-
gets students going with different prompts to encourage their budding ideas
- Essay Plan sheet-
solidifies their ideas to prepare for a teacher conference, prior to beginning the writing stage
- 2 Outline sheets-
includes 2 versions, depending on the scaffolding needs of your students
- Overview sheet-
offers action-driven directions to each part of the Op Ed essay
- Annotated Sample sheet-
provides an example of a complete Op Ed essay
- Peer / Self Edit sheet-
helps to catch any aspects that need improvement
- Reflection & Rubrics sheets (CCSS aligned and generic)-
gives clear expectations for fast scoring (also comes in an editable Word Doc for your customization!)
- TASTED News Media Skill Sheet &:
Research Graphic Organizer
- BONUS Skill Sheets:
Annotating a Text, Annotating a Citation, Citing Evidence & Sourcing, Finding Appropriate Sources, and News Media Analysis forms
- BONUS PowerPoint:
Links to online video and written tutorials, more sample published Op-Ed essays, and student direction slides
Save and get the bundle, turning your students into civic participants!
Civics Political & Community Service Learning Project
get this and 5 more Art of Writing projects included in this BINGO-style service project
Want to see how to weave this into a content unit?
Civics PBL Citizenship Test & Op-Ed Research Project Unit
after studying for and passing the official U.S. Naturalization Test, students research, write, and submit an original Op-Ed essay on if the test should be a high school graduation requirement
Want to make this into a larger writing project your students will thank you for?
Authentic Audience Writing Project
encourage your students to turn their words into cold hard cash and glory through real scholarships, essay contests, and Op-Ed pieces they write and submit
Want more individual plug-and-play writing projects?
Boycott / Buycott Business Letter
Interview Narrative Essay
Letter to the Editor
Letter to Your Elected Official
Personal Statement Narrative Essay
Position Paper Essay
Thank You Note