YES! for Teachers and Students features debate watching tools from the League of Women Voters and more classroom ready curriculum materials for the election season. And as always there is inspiring vidual learning, the page that counts and our web picks.
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YES! looks at smart ways to make change together in the new Purple America issue.
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YES! Education Connection Newsletter YES! Education Connection Newsletter
Building a Just and Sustainable World    September 2008
Now is the time. Needs are great, but your possibilities are greater.Bill Blackman

Hands. Photo by Darren Miller, Sustainable Living Roadshow

Dear Educators,
Welcome back to school! It’s that time for freshly sharpened pencils, new faces, and … elections.

Debates are an invigorating election fixture. Use the media buzz to spark your students' interest in the issues and candidates that affect their future. I am excited to share Debate Watching Tools from the venerable, nonpartisan League of Women Voters. These tools will teach your students to look beyond the candidates’ appearance and instead focus on their stands on the issues.

Then move from the debates to an agenda shaped by everyday Americans, not party lines, in Purple America, the current issue of YES!

I encourage you to use this newsletter’s lesson plans and resources to capture your students' attention and get them involved in the election. Now is the time.

Jing Fong, Education Outreach Manager, YES! Magazine Best,
Jing's signature
Jing Fong
Education Outreach Manager, YES! Magazine

P.S. Forward this newsletter to teaching colleagues so they too can benefit from YES!

Your Stories
Heather Box
The Power of Youth
26-year-old Heather Box describes her journey through politics where she learned the importance of fighting for her beliefs. Read about her involvement with The League of Young Voters and her message to educators and young people across the nation.
Here is her story.

of inspiring teaching and students taking action.
SEND US your own story to share with our growing network of YES! educators.
YES! Recommends
Presidential Candidates Obama and McCain, press photos; television set, wiki media commonsDebates (the first is on Sept. 26) are one of many ways we can educate ourselves about candidates and what they stand for. The League of Women Voters’ Debate Watching Tools include Debate Watching 101, How to Judge a Candidate, and a candidate scorecard.

Watching a debate is more exciting as a group. So, gather your students and be part of history!

YES! Classroom Tools
Populist Toolkit, YES! Magazine graphic.

Populist Toolkit
Passionate about a cause? From building trust to building coalitions, these tips and tools outline how to realize your goals. Advocating ideas and mobilizing your community will seem more do-able with this “how to” guide.
The Page That Counts
The Page That Counts
Who gets hired? How many pounds of asparagus can you eat? Educate and amuse your students with these fascinating statistics.

Our Own Agenda, YES! Magazine graphic
10 Policies Americans Want
What policies would you create for a better America? Have your class dream up a common agenda that demands change and reflects what Americans want.

Youth in a Conversation Cafe, courtesy
Conversation Cafés
Want to encourage meaningful discussions? These guidelines will help your students learn patience, tolerance, and open-mindedness in the classroom and beyond.
Connect and Engage
Use this election season to hone your students' skills in media literacy, deciphering political cartoons, and evaluating candidate voting records.

Detail of PBS's vote page for teachers
PBS Vote 2008
A comprehensive curriculum for elementary and secondary students called Access, Analyze, Act: A Blueprint for 21st Century Civic Engagement. Lesson plans on interpreting media messages and creating political videos and blogs will surely pique their interest.

image from
What are America’s values?
Take a video tour of New York City, Atlanta, Cleveland, Williamsport, Los Angeles, and Little Rock, then use Purple America’s discussion guide to engage in a frank and thoughtful dialogue with your students about values we share (or not) as Americans.

detail of a political cartoon
Analyzing Political Cartoons
As students form opinions about social and political issues, it’s important that they also develop their media literacy. In ReadWriteThink’s lesson plans, high school students learn to evaluate political cartoons for their meaning, message, and persuasiveness.

Vote Smart Logo
Project Vote Smart
A database of accurate and relevant information about “those who govern us and those who wish to replace those who do.” Voting records, campaign contributions, and positions on issues help your students assess state and federal candidates. Lesson plans included.
Eliza Gilkyson inspires her audience with hope through lyrics from her song The Great Correction. Read and listen to the song with your students, then take a moment to share stories of the difference we can make in this world.

The Grand Canyon, detail of photo by Yizhou Jiang
Detail of photo by Yizhou Jiang
International Day of Peace
Peace Day LogoCover of the YES! book Making Peace

Peace Day is September 21.
Celebrate Peace Day at your school. Check out the Peace Day Magazine with event listings from all over the world and explore activities with your students to show they care about peace.

Get a FREE CLASS SET of the YES! book Making Peace: Healing a Violent World for your school.

YES! Magazine logo
INDEX: in this issue
How to Get More YES!
YES! Magazine covers
Sustainable Roadshow
Truck from the Sustainable Living Roadshow
“Be The Change” Tour
Off-the-grid eco-festivals are coming to schools and university campuses.
Learn more and request a stop at your school.
YES! Web Picks
John Legend Vote With Your Heart
Musician John Legend encourages youth to make value-based decisions before casting their presidential vote.

Dana FraszOne Woman Takes on Hunger
Student Dana Frasz took the initiative to alleviate hunger in Bronxville, New York and says we can do the same in our communities.

1999 WTO protests in Seattle, detail of photo by Kevin Sharp WTO Quiz
A new film about the WTO protests in Seattle is about to be released. Take the quiz: What's real and what's not?
YES! in Spanish
Si logo - YES in Spanish
¿Podemos hablar?

Logo of Conversation CafeTransform your class-room into a Conversation Café to see how your students can respectfully talk about things that really matter.

Visual Learning
Children in Iran. Photo by Abdi Sami. Photo by Abdi Sami

In Iran With Rick Steves
Experience the people, history, and beauty of the “true Iran.”

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