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Massachusetts Teacher Uses Think The Vote To Reach Students

by Bill of Rights Institute on

Kristin Monteith was thrilled to learn two of her students were recently named winners in the Bill of Rights Institute’s Think The Vote program.

Monteith taught Kira Duvall and Esme Milde, and she teaches social students and civics to other students at Mashpee Middle High School in Mashpee, Mass. She said she was happy Duvall and Milde “were acknowledged for their ideas and the advanced level in their written support of those ideas on such a national platform.”

Monteith introduced Think The Vote to her students last year and said it is an excellent opportunity for students to develop critical thinking skills “and to share their voice to a larger audience than just the classroom or classroom teacher.”

She also believes Think The Vote helps students develop their literacy skills for news and journalism. She said “most of my 8th-grade students have limited exposure to reading and utilizing news articles, which of course is a necessary activity and skill to be an active participant in the community.”

“Using the articles with the topic gives the students experience with written news articles and familiarity with the format of journalism,” Monteith said.

This year, Monteith expanded her use of Think The Vote to include a “four corners activity,” in which students articulate their perspectives in class and practice writing a persuasive paragraph for their final submission.

In addition to Think The Vote, Monteith uses other BRI lessons and videos in her teaching, including the Abigail Adams Document-Based Questions (DBQs) from the Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness resource.

“I spread the word about Think the Vote whenever I meet another middle school civics teacher,” Monteith said. “I think it is a great opportunity for all students to become more engaged and active in current events, evaluate ideas, and support their own ideas.”