As my students were working on the final versions of their posters and "storyboarding" their multi-media presentations, our school had a visit from Congressman Raul Grijalva. The students from my class that were selected to attend told him, and the other students in attendance, about their project. It was a powerful opportunity for them to see that their effort and commitment to do something to help an animal that can't survive habitat loss was meaningful to a person whose life is dedicated to making positive changes for our country. A group of 7 students worked in a collaborative document to write a follow-up letter to his office, Dear Congressman Grijalva, and they also created this ScreenChomp.
It is not common to have a congressman or congresswoman visit a school and there are other ways to replicate this experience. When teach this lesson again next year, I will support students in emailing or calling local officials to spread the word about their project. Additionally, I will provide opportunities for them to speak to administrators and other significant people within the school and school district. Finally, I will encourage them to speak to local community groups.