Not everyone in our country is eligible to vote, but everyone has a voice. Use these three ideas to show future voters how they can take action today.
Share “Having the Talk,” and encourage your students to talk with their families about voting.
Our newest elementary-friendly Story Corner, “Having the Talk,” follows Jeremiah, a fifth-grader who overcomes his shyness to talk with his parents about their voting plans—and to ask them to promise that they will get involved this election season. Touching on the challenges that keep people from the polls and the importance of getting involved, the story illustrates how young people who are still years away from voting can still have a powerful voice in our democracy.
You can share “Having the Talk” three ways:
- Print the text to read aloud or assign to your students.
- Show the video version that allows young readers to watch and read along.
- Encourage your students to “have the talk” with the adults in their lives using our Voting and Voices pledge.
Our printable pledges are one way young people can follow Jeremiah’s lead. When they share the Voting and Voices pledges with their families, students ask them to commit to taking a few concrete steps—checking their registration, talking to others about the issues that matter to them, encouraging others to get to the polls—that will get them involved this election season. The two pledges—signers promise to “Use My Voice” or “Use My Vote”—ensure that every adult who cares for a young person can participate, regardless of whether they’re eligible to vote. We even have a version of the pledge designed for early elementary students.
Talk with students about ways to take action.
This summer, we visited with students from March for Our Lives. Speaking with these inspiring young people about the work they’ve done and the support they need, all of us here at TT were struck by their incredible commitment—and by their immense capability. While they were here, they recorded a message for students across the country who aren’t yet old enough to vote, but who are definitely old enough to make a difference. Share the video with your students and talk with them about ways they can get involved this election season.
Check out other resources from Voting and Voices.
If you haven’t yet gotten a chance, check out the classroom and professional development resources we’ve collected for Voting and Voices. You’ll find a wealth of materials for K–12 classrooms, including printable posters, classroom-ready lessons, texts for readers of all levels, and even a project plan to help students create a shareable voter guide for families. You’ll also find professional development resources to help you create and sustain the kind of classroom where students can speak openly and honestly about critical topics and guidelines for facilitating courageous conversations.