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Lesson Plans

"Face the Facts" with four first-time voters

October 7, 2020

Full Lesson



Directions: Read the summary, watch the video and answer the discussion questions below. For the FULL one-hour video, click here.

Summary: On October 6, PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs (SRL), in partnership with MediaWise, aired a special called Face the Facts: Election 2020 Youth Town Hall. The event was a one-hour, virtual youth town hall streaming on NewsHour digital platforms. The livestream event showcased conversations with teens and first-time voters about how they’re engaging in this year’s historic election, and educational elements on how to spot election misinformation.

In this edited clip from the event, four teens from different parts of the country and different political backgrounds discuss their relationship to politics and the coming elections.

Discussion: First, have your students identify the 5Ws and an H:

  • Who is being interviewed for this piece and what are their backgrounds?
  • What are some things that surprised you about their answers?
  • When and where will national elections take place this year?
  • Why do some of these teens believe civic engagement is important, even for people not yet old enough to vote?
  • How do you think teen civic engagement this year compares to past election cycles?

Then have students share with the class or through a Learning Management System (LMS).

Focus questions:

  1. What are you most excited to do after all quarantine and lockdown measures are lifted?
  2. Whether or not you can vote this fall, are you talking about politics with any of your friends? Do some of your friends have different political viewpoints than you?
  3. Have you heard anything about state and local races or ballot initiatives, not just the presidential race?
  4. Where do you get your political information, and how do you know whether or not it’s credible?
  5. How do you think politicians should address sharp divisions in our society and politics?
  6. What political issues matter most to you?
  7. If you are interested in politics, can you identify a person or moment that got you interested and involved?
  8. Do you think the current generation of new voters will show up in greater numbers than past generations of new voters?

Dig Deeper: The host of this segment asked the panelists how they judge information about politics credible. Voters and politically engaged non-voters now have unprecedented information to sort through online and through other media. How have they learned to filter out information from misinformation? Watch the video in this lesson and ask your students: How do you judge whether or not information is credible?


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