Build Your Civics Fair

RU Ready Civics Fair Station Speaking Out

For this station, learn more about getting vocal and use the materials to create your own Speaking Out Station in your civics fair. Looking for templates for other stations? Click the link below!

Civics Fair Home

Speaking Out: The Basics

The Speaking Out Station, also known as expressive engagement, provides students with the skills to express their opinions in hopes of influencing the actions of their elected officials and ultimately government.

Learning the skills of speaking out is an important type of engagement because elected officials represent the interests of voters and by speaking out, people can influence their decisions. Participating in a protest, contacting an elected official, and signing a petition are all examples of Speaking Out.

The Speaking Out Station provides opportunities to learn more about the following topics:

  • Contacting Your Elected Officials
  • Starting a Petition
  • Social Media and Advocacy
Speaking Out Poster

Contacting Your Elected Official

How Do I Contact My Elected Officials?

Contacting Your Elected Official templates allow students to learn ways to reach out to elected officials and how to share their opinion. Our resources encompass several reading and writing levels to be used according to your students’ needs.

Download templates for sending messages to elected officials.

Starting a Petition

How Do I Start A Petition?

Starting a Petition templates focus on practicing launching a petition to advocate for an issue students care about. Below are various scaffolds for students to organize their thoughts. Students, especially younger ones, can also work from a template with a track record of success.

Download templates for creating a mock petition.

Downloadable social media video on starting a petition

Using the Internet for Advocacy

How Do I [Effectively] Use the Internet for Advocacy?

Students are very social media savvy nowadays. But do our ‘digital natives’ know how to use the power of social media for political change? Social Media and Advocacy templates focus on practicing how to influence officeholders via social media platforms.

Download templates for creating a mock social media advocacy campaign.

What Do Students at Our School Speak Out About? Activity

On a whiteboard or chalkboard, rewrite or paraphrase the question above and encourage students to respond with a cause or hashtag that’s important to them. They don’t have to have spoken out in the past; the idea is for students to see what matters to other kids like them to perhaps speak out on in the future.

Extension: To extend this exercise, student responses could be collected and published in a class newsletter, where students are given the opportunity to share with peers why they care about the issues they do.

Speaking Out Role Models

We believe that representation is important, and seeing young leaders making a difference can inspire students to do the same. See role models of young adults who’ve spoken out on issues in their community, and around the country.

Learn More about Speaking Out Role Models of Engagement.