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Culminating Activity: A Student-Created Advocacy Magazine

Fast Fact: Ten percent of fatal crashes and 17 percent of injury crashes in 2011 were reported as distraction-affected crashes. ("Traffic Safety Facts: Distracted Driving 2011," National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)

Warm-Up: Have students look at a variety of magazines covering a diverse range of topics from business and news to fashion and pop culture.

  • What do you notice about the covers of these magazines?
  • What do you notice about the balance between blocks of text and visual elements like photos, drawings, and charts?
  • How is color used?
  • Which magazines grab your attention most and make you want to pick them up and flip through the pages?
  • What do you think makes some magazines more attractive and inviting than others?
  • When flipping through a magazine, which parts do you look at most? Headlines? Captions? Visuals?

Activity: Divide the class into groups of four. Some groups will create distracted-driving awareness magazines designed to appeal to their peers, while other groups will create magazines geared toward parents and other adult members of the community. Explain that the magazines will include the following components:

  • A brief informative or explanatory essay that introduces the topic of distracted driving (Students should pay attention to the conventions of this form of writing, including using a formal style, thoughtfully organizing ideas to illustrate relationships between concepts, employing logical transitions to link sections of text, incorporating relevant facts and definitions, and providing a conclusion that articulates the significance of this topic.)
  • A persuasive essay that underscores the importance of educating others about the dangers of distracted driving (Students should pay attention to the conventions of this form of writing, including using a formal style, clearly defining their claim as well as addressing counterclaims, providing relevant evidence, establishing the relationships between claims, evidence, reasons, and counterclaims and including a conclusion section that supports the argument presented.)
  • An essay summarizing the results of the distracted driving survey from Lesson 3 (Students should write using a formal style, thoughtfully organize their findings, incorporate any necessary definitions to aid reader comprehension, and summarize their findings in a conclusion paragraph that articulates the significance of their survey.)
  • One or two charts that depict survey data and findings
  • Distracted-driving advocacy tips

Have students meet with their group to brainstorm ideas for their magazine, strategize on how best to divide up the work, and go over the magazine content specifics included in Worksheet C. If feasible, encourage students to make use of technologies such as Google documents or Dropbox in order to facilitate their collaboration.

STUDENT CONTEST! Students could win cash prizes up to $1,000, as well as a tablet computer for their teacher advisors, when they submit their student advocacy magazine to DecidetoDrive@aaos.org by November 22, 2013. Read more about the contest here.

Critical Thinking: Every single person has the power to inspire change in his or her community by taking a stand and speaking out about an important issue like distracted driving.

  • Why is it important to create these magazines to share with members of your community?
  • What do you hope people will learn from your magazine?
  • How will you inspire and empower others to speak up when they see distracted driving?
  • Why might it be most effective to create a variety of advocacy materials geared toward different groups?
  • How will your target audience influence the way you create your magazine?

Community Connection: Brainstorm further opportunities for advocacy, such as visiting other classrooms to raise awareness, organizing a community event to educate the public, writing letters to the editor of a local newspaper, or creating campaigns for social media. Challenge students to share their magazines digitally to widen the reach of their advocacy efforts.

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