Educator Toolkit

Activities, ideas, and resources for project-based learning and multimedia production in middle school, high school, and college classrooms.

The Our Democracy Toolkit provides educators with information and resources they’ll need to lead their learning communities in this endeavor and publish student work on this website. The collection has been designed for learning communities who need the flexibility to engage with the Our Democracy project at varying levels of participation and commitment. Teachers can choose to try one activity in the collection, complete a few lessons, or even integrate the entire toolkit into their curriculum. The toolkit is organized into three main sections:

1) A Playlist of lessons for engaging students as they begin to explore conceptual or theoretical understandings of democracy. This section consists of activities that can be completed in one class period or less time and provide students with opportunities to practice photography, develop visual literacy skills, and write using figurative language and poetic imagery.

2) Project-Based Learning Ideas for teachers and students who have more time to take a closer look at democracy within their families and communities as storytellers and reporters. Included in this section are project-based learning ideas for multimedia storytelling with options in every medium we’re using on the Our Democracy team--written word, photography, and video. There are also some samples of finished content to inspire teachers and students as they begin their projects.

3) Appendix of supplemental resources and additional information. The toolkit contains lessons involving photography, video production, and activities centered on visual, media and news literacies. To support student learning in these areas, and teachers who might be teaching multimedia storytelling for the very first time, we’ve provided links to online resources from PhotoWings , an incredible nonprofit dedicated to utilizing the power of photography to further deep thinking, communication, and action, as well as, short lists of resources from other media education organizations.

Download the Toolkit (PDF)

Our Democracy

The Our Democracy Education Project is a partnership with the National Writing Project and PhotoWings. PhotoWings' mission is to help photography to be better understood, created, utilized, seen, and saved. The project is also supported by the National Geographic Society and Catchlight, and explores the question, “What does democracy look like?” through the creation of a multimedia record of the state of local, everyday democracy today.