What is Students Vote 2016?
Newsela is working with educators, think tanks, civic groups, and news partners to implement a 9-month program that helps teachers and parents engage their students on the 2016 election: Students Vote 2016. Teachers can use the Students Vote 2016 Teacher Guide, complete with issues-specific Text Sets and polls, to introduce their students to the most important issues of the election. Then, students can cast their votes for presidential, senatorial, and gubernatorial races between October 17th and November 1st.
How does polling work?
During the voting period from October 17 to November 1, students will see the option to vote at the tops of their screens whenever they visit Newsela. Simply have your students log in to Newsela between October 17 and November 1 to cast their votes. Or, share the link to the polls with them directly (https://newsela.com/polls/election). If you’re planning to hold an election event at your school, tell your students to wait until that event to vote, as students can only vote once.
Who can submit their vote?
Any student who is signed in to a Newsela account will be able to cast a vote in the election. Each student can only vote once.
When are polls open?
Online polls open at 12:00am EDT on Monday, October 17, and close at 9:00pm EDT on Tuesday, November 1.
How will results be displayed?
During the voting period teachers will be able to see election results for their classes and schools by clicking the “View results here” link on the polling page.
How can teachers incorporate the election and polling in the classroom?
Use our Students Vote 2016 Teacher Guide for election issue resources that will help you prepare your students to make an informed vote. The guide covers topics from education and criminal justice to health care and climate change, and includes issue-specific polls to drive classroom discussion. For additional classroom application suggestions, attend a Their Voice, Their Choice election webinar.
Why is Newsela launching this program?
Interest and education surrounding elections and the future of our country should not start when students turn 18. It should start now. The goal of the Students Vote 2016 program is to provide a learning experience that will help students fulfill their duties of citizenship in a participatory democracy, not tomorrow, but today.
Research from the National Council of Social Studies and McCormick Foundation has shown that exposing students to current events is one of the most effective ways to strengthen civic engagement among our youth. In addition, the Center for Civic Research on Civic Learning and Engagement has shown that students exposed to discussion of current events are more engaged and knowledgeable. McCormick Research has also shown that simulated democratic processes, like the Newsela Students Vote 2016 program, is a proven practice to boost civic learning and engagement.
The Newsela Students Vote 2016 program will be a powerful resource for teachers as they implement these best practices in the classroom and help inspire their students to get involved in their communities.
How Does the Newsela Students Vote 2016 Program Align with the C3 Framework?
The C3 Framework for Social Studies advocates for students to become informed citizens through literacy and inquiry. According to the Framework, “students need the intellectual power to recognize societal problems, ... consider possible solutions; ... and communicate and act upon what they learn.” The Newsela Students Vote 2016 program supports this common goal to have students who are engaged with current events take action on their fundamental right: to vote.
With this program, educators can supplement their curriculum to unlock meaningful political discourse, evaluate evidence, and communicate their conclusions based on daily election content leveled for their students. In addition, Newsela Text Sets, which are collections of articles, offer tools for students and teachers to develop interdisciplinary connections and find patterns through research and discussion. Through the year, students will make connections to their civic life and see the power of their vote compared to their peers across the nation.