Close Up Foundation & Mismatch
Free Lessons and Resources for Middle School and High School Classrooms
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AllSides for Schools and Close Up Foundation have teamed up to provide middle school and high school educators with free, easy to use lessons and resources that foster students’ policy topic knowledge while also developing and practicing skills in:
Educators choose among one or more available issues, such as:
- Climate Change
- Opioid Crisis and Drug Policy
- School Shootings and Gun Policy
Within each topic track, educators guide students through assigned reading materials, present related news coverage, facilitate classroom discussions, and sign up for the free Mismatch platform to hold one or more realtime video conversations with a paired classroom in another location.
Here’s how it works, step by step:
Step 1 — Sign up for Mismatch
Would you like your students to practice civil dialogue with students in another U.S. classroom “across distance and divides?” If so, sign up right away to join our matching database and to be evaluated for future, potential matches with other classrooms.
Our Mismatch platform is designed to collect an overall profile of your classroom and to return potential “mismatches” with other classrooms having substantially different profiles. Learn more about Mismatch.
Step 2 — Review educator training and professional development options
Close Up and AllSides for Schools offer a range of training options to familiarize educators with our lessons and resources. Depending on your needs, several different development plans are available — feel free to reach out if interested! Investing a bit of time to learn more will help ensure a positive experience for educators.
Want to access more in-depth, hands-on training for your school or district? Learn more about Close Up’s onsite professional development offerings on media literacy, deliberation, and civil dialogue.
Step 3 — Practice civil dialogue over Mismatch (classroom-to-classroom)
Once you are matched with another classroom, your students will participate in a minimum of three structured Mismatch conversations. The first conversation will be focused on building relationships, the second conversation will help students explore political values and perspectives, and the third (or future) conversations will focus on a specific policy issue (e.g. Gun Control or the Opioid Crisis).
In addition to the Mismatch conversations, in-classroom materials and lesson plans are provided to prepare students for successful civil dialogue. Review and choose from available issues, including free downloadable reading materials, linked news coverage and analysis, and recommended conversation guides on our Topic Tracks page.
About Close Up Foundation
Close Up believes a strong democracy requires active and informed participation by all citizens. We are dedicated to helping ensure civic engagement opportunities exist for all students. Each year, Close Up helps students and teachers in 1,500 schools nationwide engage in the democratic process. Through our civic education programs, classroom resources, and professional development workshops, we provide authentic learning opportunities that help to cultivate a more informed generation who will make lasting impacts on their communities and ultimately, our country.
Learn about Close Up Foundation’s Washington D.C. based experiential programs for students and educators.
Review additional classroom materials and resources offered by Close Up Foundation.