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Author

Citizens' Climate Education

Grades

6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th

Subjects

Social Studies, Civics, English Language Arts

Resource Types

  • Activity - Classroom
  • Videos, 2 minutes, 5 seconds

Regional Focus

North America, United States

Write Your Member Of Congress

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Synopsis
  • This is a training module for students to learn how to effectively write to Congress.
  • Through step-by-step instructions and an accompanying video, students will learn how to gather supporting information, tips to best engage with their elected officials, and the importance of public input in creating laws.
Teaching Tips

Positives

  • It empowers students to engage in the process of petitioning their government to enact change.
  • Students are able to practice persuasive writing skills.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students need to know their zip code to look up their congressional representative.

Differentiation

  • Students can choose to read or watch the training based on their learning preference.
  • The resource includes facts on carbon pricing that can be included in letters, but students can also be challenged to do their own research on a climate change topic to write about.
  • For elementary students, teachers can use this framework to guide students through writing a letter as a class.
  • These tips can also be used to write letters to state or local representatives. Teachers may need to assist students in finding the correct mailing address information.
Scientist Notes
Resource provides a simplified technique of writing a climate advocacy letter to Congressmen and policymakers to take action. Recommended for teaching.
Standards
  • English Language Arts
    • Writing (K-12)
      • W.6.2 Write text in a variety of modes: a) Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons, relevant evidence, and literary theory; b) Write informative texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content; c) Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective narrative techniques, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.
      • W.6.4 Independently and collaboratively produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are culturally sustaining and rhetorically authentic to task, purpose, and audience.
      • W.7.2 Write text in a variety of modes: a) Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons, relevant evidence, and literary theory. Introduce claim(s), acknowledge alternate or opposing claims, and organize the reasons and evidence logically. Use accurate, credible sources; b) Write informative text that examines a topic and conveys ideas, concepts, and information through the selection and organization of relevant content by introducing and developing a topic with relevant, well-chosen facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples, organizing ideas, concepts, and information into broader categories; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension; c) Write narratives that develop real or imagined experiences or events using relevant descriptive details and well-structured event sequences that organize an event sequence logically. Engage and orient the reader by establishing a context and point of view and introducing a narrator or characters; using techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, description, and reflection, to develop experiences, events, and characters.
      • W.7.3 Create writing that utilizes: a) Organization: provide an introduction that creates suspense and anticipation for the reader. Structure the text to support and clarify the purpose and topic. Provide a concluding statement appropriate to the mode of writing; b) Transitions: use a variety of appropriate transitions that connect and develop ideas; c) Word Choice (including domain-specific): use words, phrases, and clauses to create cohesion and clarify the relationships. Use sensory language to describe experiences and events.
      • W.8.2 Write text in a variety of modes: a) Write arguments to introduce and support claim(s) using logical reasoning, relevant evidence, and literary theory. Use accurate, credible sources and demonstrate an understanding of the topic or text, acknowledge and distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and organize the reasons and evidence logically; b) Write informative/explanatory text, examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content by introducing and developing a topic with relevant, well-chosen facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples, organizing ideas, concepts, and information into broader categories; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension; c) Write narratives that develop real or imagined experiences or events using relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences that organize an event sequence logically. Engage and orient the reader by establishing a context and point of view, and introduce a narrator or characters; using techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, description, and reflection, to develop experiences, events, and characters.
      • W.8.3 Create writing that utilizes: a) Organization: provide an introduction that creates suspense and anticipation for the reader. Structure the text to support and clarify the purpose and topic throughout the entire text. Conclusion statement provides closure and ties up all loose ends; b) Transitions: varied transitions to create cohesion and clarity among ideas and concepts; c) Word Choice (including domain-specific): use genre-specific vocabulary. Use vocabulary that enhances the meaning and engages the reader.
      • W.9-10.3 Create writing that utilizes: a) Organization: introduce a topic; organize complex ideas, concepts, analysis, information, and claims to make important connections and distinctions. Establish and maintain a structure and conventions consistent with the mode of writing. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the topic, themes, and experiences presented in the text; b) Transitions: use appropriate and varied transitions to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships among complex ideas and concepts; c) Word Choice (including domain-specific): use culturally-sustaining language and domain-specific vocabulary to manage the complexity of the topic. Use telling details, and sensory language to convey a vivid picture of thoughts, ideas, and experiences.
      • W.11-12.3 Create writing that utilizes: a) Organization: introduce a topic; organize complex ideas, concepts, analysis, information, and claims so that each new element builds on that which precedes it to create a unified whole. Establish and maintain a structure and conventions consistent with the mode of writing. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the topic, themes, and experiences presented in the text; b) Transitions: use appropriate and varied transitions and syntax to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships among complex ideas and concepts; c) Word Choice (including domain-specific): use culturally-sustaining language and domain-specific vocabulary to manage the complexity of the topic. Use techniques such as metaphor, simile, and analogy to manage the complexity of the topic.
  • Social Studies
    • Political Science
      • SS.PS3.d.m Analyze how governments address and solve problems through the public policy process.
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