5 Post-Election Resources To Keep Students Civically Engaged
Tomorrow is Election Day! While we hope that your students have been active in this year’s election, civic engagement is essential year-round. We want youth voices to continue being heard and for students to continue being active citizens in our democracy. Here are some resources to help you continue their civic education and engagement.
1. PREPARE: Getting Ready for What’s Next After the Election
We must prepare ourselves, students, and our communities for what comes after each election day.
Why it matters: What do we do next? It can be challenging to talk to young people about the outcomes of the election. Lisa Kay Solomon, founder of Vote by Design, developed strategic conversations to help educators better support students and each other on November 3rd and beyond.
Here are some ways educators can prepare for the days after the election:
- Reflect on past elections
- Imagine your post-election future
- Identify and amplify shared behaviors
- Mobilize broad and personalized support
- Lead with empathy
Extra credit: What’s Next: Designing for After the Election →
2. BOOST: A Masterlist of Ways To Increase Civic Engagement
To be a truly engaged citizen in our democracy, we must be as active and involved in our communities and country as possible.
Why it matters: Civic engagement is the glue that holds our democracy together. There are many ways to keep our democracy alive and thriving besides voting.
The “Democracy 76” checklist has 76 ways to help you, your students, and the community:
- Stay informed
- Build Community
- Get social
Extra credit: The bucket list for involved citizens: 76 things you can do to boost civic engagement →
3. CREATE: Lesson Ideas for Cultivating Active Citizens
Let’s teach students how to be active citizens and critical thinkers 365 days a year.
Why it matters: It’s important for teachers to help students become year-round civic participants— not just during election season. Civics education is essential to our democracy and doesn’t have to be boring. Resilient Educator offers ideas to help develop your curriculum:
- Lesson plans for civics engagement
- Project ideas
- Professional development resources
Extra credit: Creating Active Citizens: Ideas for Civic Engagement Lessons →
4. DISCUSS: Reflecting on Voter Turnout in Your Community
Are you discussing voter registration and voter turnout with your students?
Why it matters: Election-related talk should include voter registration and turnout. “Voting in Your Town” is a multi-step project created in 2016. This Teaching Tolerance project is perfect for grades 6-12 and helps students learn about voting numbers and voter obstacles in their communities.
Students will research, learn about, and discuss:
- How many people are registered to vote in your community?
- How many people turned out to vote?
- Did voters face any obstacles preventing them from registering or voting?
Extra credit: Post-election Activity: “Voting in Your Town” →
5. EMPOWER: Facing Tough Conversations Post-Election
The aftermath of the U.S. presidential election requires us to talk about challenging subjects in a civil manner.
Why it matters: After the 2016 presidential election, Facing History released resources to help respectfully discuss important issues and rebuild community in the classroom. These skills are crucial for the health of our civic society and democracy.
These resources can help you prepare to have those difficult conversations with students. They include teaching strategies, blogs, and lesson plans, including:
- How to Move Forward Together After a Divisive Election
- Invoking History in Today’s Politics
- (Re)Building Classroom Community Post-Election
Extra credit: Post-Election Support for Difficult Conversations →
Let’s Launch a Campaign!
XQ’s Build a Campaign helps students create their own campaigns for what matters most to them, including elections and beyond. We’ve provided the tools, resources, and guidance to help students support civic engagement and democracy.
It’s time for student voices to be heard! Check out Build a Campaign and get started!