Study Groups

Yes, You CAN Talk Politics began as a series of workshops that I developed for the members of Crossing Party Lines, the nonprofit that I helped to found. Many of those members volunteered to test out this workbook and have helped me develop a recommendation for the most effective way to learn these skills.

As it turns out, neither the workshop format nor this self-paced book is perfect:

  • Workshops provide the opportunity to practice with others, hear how others are understanding the concepts and talk about their answers to the activities.
  • The self-paced workbook format provides time to really think about the concepts and skills and dig deep into the inner workings of our own politics.

That’s why I recommend that if at all possible, you gather a few (4 to 6) friends or family members and create a study group to work through this book together. Based on the experience of the volunteer testers, I recommend the following format:

  • Set up regular meetings, either weekly or twice-monthly.
  • Read through the material and do those exercises designed to be done solo.
  • Use meeting times to talk through the material, then practice the interactive activities together.
  • Plan on about 12 sessions:
    • Lessons 1.1 – 1.5
    • Lessons 1.6 – 1.9
    • Lessons 2.1 – 2.3
    • Lessons 2.4 – 2.6
    • Lessons 3.1 – 3.3
    • Lessons 3.4 – 3.6
    • Lessons 4.1 – 4.3
    • Lessons 4.4 – 4.5
    • Lessons 5.1 – 5.3
    • Lessons 5.4 – 5.5
    • Lessons 6.1 – 6.3
    • Lessons 6.4 – 6.5
    • Lessons 71 – 7.2
  • Have fun