As a class, discuss an issue that is important to the students and about which they have strong beliefs. This might be a complex issue (such as climate change) or a simple one (such as the date and location of the school formal).

  • Divide the class in half and tell students that only half the class will be allowed to vote on this issue today.
  • Ask the non-voting half of the class to become the observers, at which point they must remain silent.
  • Have the voting half of the class discuss the issue. Ask them to come up with a yes/no question about this issue to be voted on, and conduct a ballot-style vote.

Ask the students:

  • if you were unable to vote, how did it feel when others were discussing the issue? What did you want to share but couldn’t?
  • if you were able to vote, how did it feel to have that right when others did not?
  • how could you hold a debate but make it a more equal experience?

Ask the students to conduct a debate in class, arguing for or against the proposition that the voting age be reduced to 15.