Overcoming Political Ignorance

Check out Ilya Somin’s “Can Education or Information Shortcuts Overcome Political Ignorance?” and answer the following questions. How does Somin define an “information shortcut”? What is “retrospective voting”? What are its shortcomings? Why is depending on “opinion leaders” problematic? Somin claims that “governments have very little incentive to ensure that public schools really do adopt… Read More Overcoming Political Ignorance

Growing Up Poor

Today, we’re watching an episode of Frontline, “Growing Up Poor in America.” As we watch the film, take notes about anything that strikes you, such as statistics cited by the narrator, the living conditions of the families, or the disposition of the children. Next, try and answer the following questions. Try to use a specific… Read More Growing Up Poor

One-Pager Workshop

Today, we’re going to focus on your one-pager’s design.  What color scheme/choices best fit your one-pager? Do the colors match the seriousness or context of your topic?  Explore what data would be best represented graphically? Consider what you want to catch the eye of your decision maker first. What is the strongest impression you want… Read More One-Pager Workshop

Phone Script Workshop

Today, we’re going to work on your phone script for the advocacy project. The phone script has a few rules: Greeting & Name: Politely introduce themselves with their full name.  Location: Provide their state or municipality to help the elected official know which district the caller comes from. Purpose of Call: Succinctly and clearly explain… Read More Phone Script Workshop

Safe Drinking Water

Check out Monka’s “Safe, Clean Drinking Water Eludes Many Wisconsinites (Links to an external site.)” from Wisconsin Watch. Pretend you work for a safe water advocacy group. You’ve been asked to create a phone script to call on elected officials to make sure we have clean drinkable water. Why do you think this is an important issue… Read More Safe Drinking Water

Meth Use Wisconsin

In “Meth Use Continues to Rise in Wisconsin” Mary Kate McCoy notes that 2013-17 saw an increase of 167% in job screenings for meth throughout the Midwest. Keep this in mind as you answer the following questions. Look at the county map of Wisconsin. What does the distribution of darker blue counties suggest about the… Read More Meth Use Wisconsin

Discussion Questions Tips

Writing Discussion Questions The Basics Avoid asking questions that prompt a repeating of explicit information in the text. Formulate questions that have no easy answer, and ones that can be interpreted through various perspectives. Try asking open-ended rather than simple yes/no, right/wrong questions.  Compare, contrast, and look for connections between articles assigned on a given… Read More Discussion Questions Tips

COVID in Prisons

In Parker Schorr’s Wisconsin Watch article, “Inmates Fear ‘The Invisible Enemy’ in Wisconsin’s Overcrowded Prisons,” he argues “incarcerated individuals say they still lack key protections from a virus that has ripped through prisons and jails in other states.”  How does the introduction set the scene of COVID in prisons for readers? List at least three… Read More COVID in Prisons