conversation starter:

how do you - and others - feel about engaging civically online?

This conversation starter invites students to ask one another about a piece of news they have engaged with recently, and how they received the information.     >

Conversation Starter

(15-20 minutes)

Ask your students to consider the findings of a 2016 Pew Research Center Survey that found that: “More than one-third of social media users are worn out by the amount of political content they encounter.” Review this with your students and other more detailed findings summarized in the chart below.

Ask students to work in groups of 2-3 to consider some of the following questions:

  1. Is this a reliable source? How do we know?

    1. Who authored this report and collected the data?

    2. How might this data have been collected?

    3. Who is represented?

    4. Who is missing?

  2. How do the findings of this study connect to your own experiences with social media and political expression?

    1. Do you share your political views online? Why or why not?

    2. Can you recall a recent example of a civically or politically themed piece of media that you shared or encountered on social media?


Each group can then share back their discussion with the class.

© 2018 by the MacArthur Research Network on Youth and Participatory Politics

Students explore their identities and communities, identify civic issues that matter to them, and consider how they might use digital media for civic participation.

Students work to understand and analyze civic information online, and consider what information they

can trust.

Students navigate diverse perspectives and exchange ideas about civic issues in our inter-connected world .

Students consider how, when and to what end they can create, remix and otherwise re-purpose content that they share with others in online spaces.

Students consider a broad range of tactics and strategies for acting on civic issues.