A little over two weeks ago, I had the bright idea to contact one of our Virginia state Senators and ask him to come speak to my kids. What is the worst thing that can happen? He can say no, right? But, he could say yes, too. And he did! VA Senator Walter Stosch came to visit and speak to my students about how a bill becomes a law. He opened up the floor to questions.
Since my kids has been learning about issues of force in their worlds, their research turned into discussions about they can use their voice to petition government for changes. We discussed how they could propose a bill, find a legislator to support it and with the right support and a vote, could some day become a law.
The kids had very thoughtful questions to ask. Some they had thought up ahead of time, about the death penalty, about gay marriage, about dress codes. Some thought up questions on the fly. I was super proud of their involvement, their respect and their thoughtfulness during the assembly. In the end, I think it was a great way to connect what they had learned in English class to the world outside our walls.