Digital Learning: Close Up Conversation Series

Learn how you can make the most of your Close Up Conversation Series resources!


Welcome to the Close Up Conversation Series!

Using these resources and lesson plans students will:

  • Model effective citizenship skills through facilitated current issues discussions with their classmates
  • Examine and apply primary and secondary sources to inform personal perspectives
  • Connect effectively across distance through activities and discussions design specifically for digital classrooms

Independent and Facilitated conversation options:

  • Independent Conversations – All materials in the Conversation Series are designed to be implemented independently and effectively by teachers utilizing distance learning platforms
  • Facilitated Conversations – Close Up staff provide additional support by facilitating class-wide and small group discussions drawing on their experience working directly with students in Washington D.C. and knowledge of digital learning tools

Step 1: Classroom Consultation Call (optional)

Close Up Conversation Series materials are designed to be ready-to-use for teachers and students. Through a consultation call, Close Up staff can offer additional support and activities for you and your students. These activities include:

  • Training on how to optimize digital learning platforms like Zoom and Google Classroom
  • Close Up staff will work directly with you and your students to conducted facilitated whole class and small group discussions
  • Additional facilitated engagement activities that promote civic discourse and participation, including structured debates, policy deliberations, and virtual seminars with DC-based policy experts

Step 2: Review Teacher Guide

To help educators create a more meaningful experience for their students, this Teacher Guide provides you with recommended activities to be completed before online conversations. We strongly encourage educators to use these lesson plans to help students become familiar with the topics and terminology used throughout the conversation series. See High School Teacher Guide here. See Middle School Teacher Guide here.

Step 3: Participate in Conversation #1

Before this scheduled conversation, we recommend you prepare your students for their first conversation by completing the activity ‘Preparing for Conversation 1’ found in Teacher Guide (link and page number).

Conversation #1  Building Relationships: In this first conversation students will explore the personal and community impact of COVID-19 and discuss the role of community in a crisis.

Step 4: Participate in Conversation #2

Before this scheduled conversation, conduct the in-class activity ‘Preparing for Conversation 2’ found in Teacher Guide – Link it back to teacher guide and page # .

Conversation #2 Political Values: In this conversation, students will draw on their discussions about political values to explore the differences and commonalities among all participants.

Step 5: Participate in Conversation #3

Before this scheduled conversation, conduct the activity ‘Preparing for Conversation 3’ found in Teacher Guide. In order for students to fully participate in this conversation, it is strongly recommended that you ask your students to review the policy guide for the chosen policy topic.

Conversation #3 Policy Discussion: In this final conversation, students will discuss a series of recommendations addressing a major policy issue and share their varying perspectives on ideal solutions. Policy options include:

Step 6: Reflection

Let us know your thoughts! After completing the Close Up Conversation Series, please email us at classroom@closeup.org with your feedback.  We would love to hear about your experience in the program!