Ignore this page-- Hands-On Learning: Practicing Democracy Assignments

Beginning Fall 2016, Practicing Democracy Assignments are no longer an option for students. Please ignore any content on this page. Instead, read the directions for Civic Engagement Field Work.



























Hands-On Learning: Practicing Democracy- for Summer Students and for Fall/Winter/Spring students who cannot do Civic Engagement Field Work...

Hands-On Learning is often the best way of learning about how government in a democracy is actually supposed to work. For summer students and for fall/winter/spring students who cannot do Civic Engagement Field Work, you will complete this portion of the class through “Practicing Democracy” assignments. These are short learning exercises in "grassroots" participatory democracy- that is democratic acts that everyday people at the "grassroots" can carry carry out.

See the list of Practicing Democracy assignments below and click on each individual link to get more details and directions. When submitting these assignments, be sure to use the unique Assignment Template for each PD Assignment.

Practicing Democracy Assignment Options:

Note: You may not repeat an assignment for credit, except the Eco-Footprint Group which has multiple parts.

  1. Eco-Footprinting Group: Create a Group to Reduce Your Eco Footprint and to take environmental action (meet more than once for even more points!)
  2. Learning to organize: Create a scrapbook! Interview and photograph a small group of people to find out what they care about
  3. Letter to the Editor: Write your local newspaper on an important issue; try to get your letter published
  4. Registering Voters: Register 5 Voters and interview 5 Non-voters
  5. Balance the California Budget: Then write your legislators and the Governor about your priorities
  6. Gendered fashion: Tune into how your own fashion might be very gendered and break out of your rigid roles; get others to do the same! (NOTE: this assignment requires instructor approval BEFORE you start.)
  7. Button Exercise: Wear a feminist political button for a week; then talk to people and advocate for your politics
  8. Talk about Race: Create a scrapbook and advocate for change! Interview and photograph people about their race and social justice
  9. Voter Re-enfranchisement - Register Ex-Felons to Vote
  10. Bus Rapid Transit and Public Transit Advocacy
  11. Consumer education about your local Wal-Mart store: talk to shoppers in front of WalMart; do it as a group for extra fun for even more credit
  12. Host a film showing in your house- then get your friends to be advocates

Due Dates:

Summer Students: PD Assignments are due on the Sundays at the end of Weeks 2, 4 & 6 by 10 PM.

Fall/Winter/Spring Term Students: Your Civic Engagement Contract is due Week 2. PDs are due Weeks 4, 7 & 10 on turnitin.com.

Day Class & Night Class your work is Wednesday by class time. Online Class  assignment is due Friday by 10PM.


Each Practicing Democracy assignment is worth up to 40 points (with a few exceptions that are worth more.) Remember: Students choose either Practicing Democracy assignments or Civic Engagement Field Work but not both. (Summer students may only do Practicing Democracy Assignments and may not do Civic Engagement Field Work without special permission)

How to Submit Your Assignment:

  • You will upload your completed assignment to the turnitin.com site.
  • Be sure you use the template for each assignment when you turn in your work.
  • The final document you submit must be ONE file that includes all images, text, etc. Images will include a variety of pictures, scans, and/or screenshots that verify and document your work. If you have any confusion on how to capture images and intert them in the assignment please contact a student mentor/teaching assistant
  • If you are using some kind of Powerpoint to submit your PD assignment, incorporate the Template Pages at the beginning of your document as one of the pages.

File Types and Size you may submit on turnitin.com

Turnitin currently accepts the following file types for upload into an assignment that we will accept for grading:
  • Microsoft Word® (DOC and DOCX)
  • Corel WordPerfect®
  • HTML
  • Adobe PostScript®
  • Plain text (TXT)
  • Rich Text Format (RTF)
  • Portable Document Format (PDF)
  • Hangul (HWP)
  • Powerpoint (PPT and PPTS)
The file size may not exceed 20 MB.  If your file is larger than this, it is probably because you have not properly reduced the size of any images in your document. If your file is larger than 20 MB, you should be able to use a software program to reduce your image or file size. If you do not have such a program on your own computer, there are a number of online resources which you can find by searching “online file reducer” or “online pdf reducer.”  If you do reduce or compress your images or file, make sure that all images and text are still clear and readable.