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Driving Question: 

What do people really need to know about the candidates in the next election?

Social Studies
Grade 8

Students created a political magazine, which was based on upcoming US Election and political issues surrounding it. The intended audience was incoming 8th graders, so they could easily learn about politics and issues surrounding the US election, as well as candidates’ stances. Students were given the option to apply for executive positions within the magazine: Chief Editor, Copy Editor, Creative Editor and Social Media Correspondent. Students formally interviewed for the positions, and were given contracts. Magazine article ideas were pitched to the executive team and then students wrote them, created headlines, matched original photography and designed layouts in conjunction with teams.The magazine was then printed through SAS Communications and distributed electronically to classrooms around the world.

Student Reflection

“The pressure of the deadlines actually made the project more fun.” - Aniketh, eighth grader

“The project made me realize how much work goes into a magazine. I have tons of respect for publishers now.” - Brendan, eighth grader

“I was the Chief Editor of my class and I found out I have a talent for management and this project helped me explore a possible path I may take in the future.” - Jamie, eighth grader

“As Copy Editor, I combed over 50+ articles. The editing experience has helped me develop as a writer, but also helped me develop as a critical thinker in Social Studies.” - Charlotte, eighth grader

Student Products
  • Design a political magazine about the upcoming election. 
  • Pitch article ideas to the executive team.
  • Present final products to a panel. 
Teacher Reflection

"The experience was great for kids and truly simulated a real world environment. Using critique and revision tools helps students be tough on ‘content’ and easy on ‘character.’ Guest speakers from the publication world should’ve presented at the very start of the project, or when a draft PDF was ready prior to submission to communications. This project allowed me to realize how much fun simulating real world environments is for kids, in this case being a magazine company." - Matt Zeman

Designers

Matt Zeman