Assignment: write a letter to your state representative in which you identify an issue or law that you would like to change. Then explain how and why it should be changed.
Below are actual excerpts from rough drafts that my students turned in. Some made me laugh, others made me cry, some are serious. At the end of the day though, I think this assignment is a keeper.
“I think Virginia should pass a law so that gay people can get married. It is unfair to not let them get married. And my uncle is gay, so I believe he should be able to get married.”
“I don’t understand why students are forced to go to school for so long every day. In the afternoons after lunch no one pays attention and every body is more likely to get in trouble. Please pass a law that will shorten the school day so that we will not get in trouble.”
“There are differnt kinds of abuse in Virginia. In some homes, people are beaten, and others are yelled at. When someone is abused, I think the person who hurt them should be punished for a long time. There is no reason for people to be hurt so much, especially in their own homes…PS – you will bring peace to many families by passing this law.”
“I am writing to you about marriage laws in Virginia. I believe that people should have the right to happiness, even if that means being married to more than one person at the same time. I saw this on an episode of Oprah and it worked very well.”
(this one is 100% real)
“I am writing to tell you about a social studies teacher at my school. She teaches in the 8th grade and she is mean to the students. She makes us do assignments that we don’t want to do, and when we ask to go to the bathroom she doesn’t let us go. Please do something.”