Civically-Engaged Content-Area Literacy Teaching Writing

Being Heard: Students Presenting Live to State Senators on Local Issues—Part 7 of The Nebraska Experience


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The final episode of our seven-part series, The Nebraska Experience, explores an approach to teaching argument writing that involves students in researching local issues and presenting advocacy writing live to legislators at the state capitol. The project detailed here involved a semester-long collaboration between college and high-school students as part of the Husker Writers program, which sponsors secondary-university writing partnerships. High-school teacher Jessica Meyer and college professor Rachael Shah describe how they designed their collaborative unit and explain how the National Writing Project’s College, Career, and Community Writers Program (C3WP) and place-based writing principles informed their pedagogy. The podcast highlights student voices by featuring excerpts of the students’ collaborative advocacy presentations on the cost of college and mental health resources, and it includes interviews with students about their experience writing for state senators. Jess Meyer and Rachael Shah reflect on what they have learned about facilitating local issue writing for audiences beyond the classroom.


  • Jessica Meyer, English Teacher, Lincoln North Star High School
  • Dr. Rachael Shah, Assistant Professor of English, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Adam Morfeld, Nebraska State Senator for UNL/North Star District
This post is part of the NWP Radio collection.

Image: Senator Morfeld listening to student testimony
Photo Credit: Rachael Shah