Educator Toolkit: Comment & Win

by Kara Dunn

Why This Matters Now

For many students and educators, school break has arrived or will very soon.

Happy summer!

How will your students spend their vacation time? Between their trips to the beach, college summer programs, internships and just hanging out with friends, why not give them the chance to think, write and shine?

The Wharton Global Youth Comment & Win is an annual contest that runs from early June to mid-August that is designed to encourage high school-age students to discover Global Youth stories, podcasts and videos, and at the same time develop stronger reflective and persuasive writing skills. It includes biweekly rounds of competition, with a new theme introduced each round.

This year’s contest begins on Monday, June 5 and runs through Friday, August 11. Students can choose to participate in one or two rounds, or all four.

Hundreds of high school students from around the world have participated in the Comment & Win in the past six years, dazzling the Global Youth team with their provocative, insightful and interesting perspectives. Many commenting threads inspire lively exchanges, prompting students to practice their reflective listening and discourse skills. These are fun to read and difficult to judge! Ultimately, the students who use the text to inform their comments, add value to the discussion around the text, express opinions clearly and succinctly, and have somewhat of an authentic voice, are selected as winners.

For us, that voice is everything. Liza Cowan, the English teacher who founded R.E.A.L. Discussion, a discussion-based learning system for secondary schools, recently said, “In today’s world, the stakes are high: students need to graduate confident that their voices matter and competent at engaging others with inquiry, evidence, and empathy.”

Even though you may not have your students in the classroom for the next few months – or even if you do – you can encourage them to strengthen these skills through the Global Youth Comment & Win contest. Have them sign up for the competition today (it’s free and simple), so they’re ready to express themselves on June 5. Get all the details HERE


The 2022 Comment & Win Contest Ends in a Blaze of Innovation
When it comes to the Comment & Win, reading is believing. In this article, we invite you to immerse yourself in the reflections of high school students from around the world who competed in last year’s innovation round. Read student comments, get lost in their stories, and check out the links to the 3 previous rounds for tons more inspiration. It’s a fun and telling exercise.

Lesson Plan
Comment & Win Classroom Guide for Educators
A lesson plan for high school teachers who are interested in assigning the Comment & Win to their students, either during summer break or in the classroom. Explore the process and learning objectives related to getting your students involved in the contest, assign a separate commenting portfolio project, and even take classroom commenting offline. This comprehensive guide also includes a Global Youth Comment & Win grading rubric.

Online life is deeper than Instagram posts, as the commenting sections in publications like the New York Times reflect. In fact, the NYT receives some 9,000 comments per day, and has begun to cover its most dedicated commenters as it would a traditional news beat. Help students become critical thinkers and communicators online by assigning them Global Youth articles to read and comment on. Have them respond to other comments and begin to build their analysis and strategy skills.

Hands-on Learning
Use the young voices from the Comment & Win contest to inspire conversation and debate around current events. This activity will likely take a few days of class time.

Form teams within the classroom and assign each team a topic from the list below. Have them read the related articles, conversation starters and comment threads and discuss the main points. What are the two sides to this debate? How do they feel about this issue?

Once they have discussed their topics, invite teams (one-by-one) to the front of the room. Prepare 5 questions to test their knowledge and to start the discussion around each topic. Then open the debate to the rest of the class to ask questions and challenge ideas. How well can each team (and team members with opposing views) defend their viewpoint?

Social Justice
Moniola Odunsi Fights for Racial Justice

Jobs vs. Other Summer Experiences
The Value of a Summer Job

The Metaverse Economy
Discovering the Metaverse Economy
6 Questions for Henry Yan of MetaverseAI

Making a Sustainable Impact
Measuring the Impact of a Solar Power Nonprofit
Sustainable Farming with AI

Global Youth Quote of the Month
“A lot of my classes this semester, such as Intro to Business and Business Ethics & Society, parallel extremely well with Global Youth’s curriculum and learning style. Every week for these classes, we cover a new issue (such as Corporate Social Responsibility, Financial Literacy, and so on). We are each assigned to do our own online research and, just like the Global Youth comment section, we offer our thoughts and insights based on our research and personal experiences! When we come to class, we discuss our posts and can even comment on others classmates’ posts, similar to Global Youth articles. My professors have asked how I am so well informed, and I often tell them about KWHS.” – Aneesh Shinkre, 19, first Comment & Win grand prize winner who went on to study at the University of Miami, Florida

One comment on “Educator Toolkit: Comment & Win

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