One of the best ways to promote civic engagement is to put students
in touch with local government and law. Local government often has more
power and influence over local matters than any other level, and there
are many avenues for students to participate in and explore their local
level. Many activities can help students understand how to access
information and influence decision-makers at the local level.
Look for opportunities to extend lessons by “localizing” concepts and
topics. Assign students to learn and then report about local procedures
and laws. For example, you might ask students to do a WebQuest of the
websites of their local government to find out what services and
resources they offer, how to contact decision makers, or how regular
people can interact with the government online. This is sometimes
referred to as “e-government.” Alternatively, ask students to follow a
local news story or local group attempting to improve their community.