letter_to_legislator

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					Letter to Representative                                                                                Senior Social Studies
Student Name ________________________                                                               Class Period __________
                                                                                                    DUE DATE __________

Assignment:
As part of our unit on political participation, you will write to an elected official about a proposed bill,
established law or other public policy. By interacting with your elected officials and sharing your support or
criticism of public policies you are exercising your politician rights and freedoms. You will need to research the
topic of your letter and explain your opinion on the topic with the use of research, examples and logic.

Please see the suggested format below:

Section 1 – Introduction
    Introduce yourself (as student, person, consumer, voter/potential voter)
    Identify your connect to the representative (live in their district, etc)
    Explain the assignment and goals
Section 2 – Explain the topic/policy as you see it
    Why the topic is important to address
    How this topic affects you, other constituents
Section 3 – Advocate your position
    Explain why you are in favor/opposition to the bill or policy
    Provide relevant evidence to support your position
           o Data or other research
           o Examples of individuals and how they are affected (or could be)
Section 4 – conclusion
    emphasize main point
    Thank them for their time in reading your letter
    Request a response and to hear his/her thoughts on the topic

Grading Rubric
              4                                   3                                2                                1
      On time                       On time                         On time                         Not on time
      Student completed             Student completed               Student completed               Student completed
       individually                   individually                     individually                     individually
      Completed rough               Completed rough draft on        Student did not complete        Student did not complete
       draft on time                  time                             rough draft on time              rough draft on time
      Correct format                Correct format                  Partial format                  Partial format
      Provided specific             Provided partial reference      Provided partial reference      Provided partial reference
       information relevant           to current or historical         to current or historical         to current or historical
       to current or historical       legislation                      legislation                      legislation
       legislation                   Provided incomplete             Provided incomplete             Provided incomplete
      Provided interpretive          interpretive opinion             interpretive opinion             interpretive opinion
       opinion                       Typed with minor errors         Typed with minor errors         Typed with major errors or
      Typed and error free          One page, single-spaced,         or neatly handwritten            hand written
      One page, single-              business letter format          Less than one page,             Less than one page, single-
       spaced, business letter       Letter meets criteria to         single-spaced, business          spaced, business letter
       format                         mail                             letter format                    format
      Letter meets criteria to                                       Letter does not meet            Letter does not meet
       mail                                                            criteria to mail                 criteria to mail



Teacher Comments:
                               Sample Letter to Your Legislator
It would be impossible to provide one letter that fits every bill, policy or issue. A sample letter is provided below; you will
need to personalize the letter and make it fit your needs. Just follow the basic structure provided in the left-hand column
for guidance, but make the letter uniquely yours!

Return Address                          Your Name
                                        Address
                                        City, State, Zip Code
                                        Phone number

Date                                    [insert date]

Heading                                 The Honorable [insert full name]
                                        Address
                                        City, State, Zip Code

Salutation                              Dear Representative [or Senator] [insert last name]:

Introduce yourself and state            As a constituent in the 25th legislative district and current senior at governor John
your purpose                            R. Rogers High School. I am writing to ask for your support of House Bill 123.
                                        This bill would support funding for Parents as Teachers (PAT) programs in our
                                        community.

Explain why you are making              We know that the most important development of a young child occurs in the first
this request.                           few years of life, and our state priorities need to reflect that knowledge.
                                        According to your website, you stated that education is the future of America and
                                        that you support parents of young children. The Parents as Teachers program has
                                        proven effective in increasing children’s school readiness, improving their later
                                        school success, and increasing their parents’ involvement in school. If passed, this
                                        legislation would help our children start school ready to learn.

Make a connection to his/her            I have witnessed the impact of Parents as Teachers in my own family….
constituency through a                  [AND/OR]
personal story or any facts or          PAT can save our community dollars through early identification of development
figures available                       delays. In our case….[AND/OR]

Restate your request, and ask           In our community, only X percent of children arrive at kindergarten ready to
him/her to follow-up                    learn….
                                        I urge you to support this important legislation. Investing in the early years saves us
                                        all money later on. I would appreciate a written reply that states how you voted on
                                        this issue.

Thank the legislator for                Thank you for your time and consideration. [Your ongoing support of Parents as
his/her time & request a                Teachers is greatly appreciated!] I would appreciate to hear your thoughts on this
response                                topic and hear what is happening on this issue.

Sign off                                Sincerely,

                                        [Your name]
Letter to Representative – DRAFT

Return Address:     Name
                    Address

                    Phone or email

Date:               NOVEMBER 1, 2011

Heading:




Salutation:


Introduction:




Explanation of

topic or policy:
Your position:




Conclusion:




Sign-off


Name
            4                                   3                                  2                                     1
   On time                       On time                            On time                             Not on time
   Student completed             Student completed                  Student completed                   Student completed
    individually                   individually                        individually                         individually
   Completed rough draft         Completed rough draft on           Student did not complete            Student did not complete
    on time                        time                                rough draft on time                  rough draft on time
   Correct format                Correct format                     Partial format                      Partial format
   Provided specific             Provided partial reference to      Provided partial reference to       Provided partial reference to
    information relevant to        current or historical               current or historical                current or historical
    current or historical          legislation                         legislation                          legislation
    legislation                   Provided incomplete                Provided incomplete                 Provided incomplete
   Provided interpretive          interpretive opinion                interpretive opinion                 interpretive opinion
    opinion                       Typed with minor errors            Typed with minor errors or          Typed with major errors or
   Typed and error free          One page, single-spaced,            neatly handwritten                   hand written
   One page, single-spaced,       business letter format             Less than one page, single-         Less than one page, single-
    business letter format        Letter meets criteria to mail       spaced, business letter format       spaced, business letter format
   Letter meets criteria to                                          Letter does not meet criteria       Letter does not meet criteria
    mail                                                               to mail                              to mail




            4                                   3                                  2                                     1
   On time                       On time                            On time                             Not on time
   Student completed             Student completed                  Student completed                   Student completed
    individually                   individually                        individually                         individually
   Completed rough draft         Completed rough draft on           Student did not complete            Student did not complete
    on time                        time                                rough draft on time                  rough draft on time
   Correct format                Correct format                     Partial format                      Partial format
   Provided specific             Provided partial reference to      Provided partial reference to       Provided partial reference to
    information relevant to        current or historical               current or historical                current or historical
    current or historical          legislation                         legislation                          legislation
    legislation                   Provided incomplete                Provided incomplete                 Provided incomplete
   Provided interpretive          interpretive opinion                interpretive opinion                 interpretive opinion
    opinion                       Typed with minor errors            Typed with minor errors or          Typed with major errors or
   Typed and error free          One page, single-spaced,            neatly handwritten                   hand written
   One page, single-spaced,       business letter format             Less than one page, single-         Less than one page, single-
    business letter format        Letter meets criteria to mail       spaced, business letter format       spaced, business letter format
   Letter meets criteria to                                          Letter does not meet criteria       Letter does not meet criteria
    mail                                                               to mail                              to mail




            4                                   3                                  2                                     1
   On time                       On time                            On time                             Not on time
   Student completed             Student completed                  Student completed                   Student completed
    individually                   individually                        individually                         individually
   Completed rough draft         Completed rough draft on           Student did not complete            Student did not complete
    on time                        time                                rough draft on time                  rough draft on time
   Correct format                Correct format                     Partial format                      Partial format
   Provided specific             Provided partial reference to      Provided partial reference to       Provided partial reference to
    information relevant to        current or historical               current or historical                current or historical
    current or historical          legislation                         legislation                          legislation
    legislation                   Provided incomplete                Provided incomplete                 Provided incomplete
   Provided interpretive          interpretive opinion                interpretive opinion                 interpretive opinion
    opinion                       Typed with minor errors            Typed with minor errors or          Typed with major errors or
   Typed and error free          One page, single-spaced,            neatly handwritten                   hand written
   One page, single-spaced,       business letter format             Less than one page, single-         Less than one page, single-
    business letter format        Letter meets criteria to mail       spaced, business letter format       spaced, business letter format
   Letter meets criteria to                                          Letter does not meet criteria       Letter does not meet criteria
    mail                                                               to mail                              to mail

				
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