By Monique Marshall, February 27, 2017

Grade Level

  • High School


  • Summer Design Institute

Subject Area

  • Social Studies

Lesson Time

80 minutes


The issue of student voice and active engagement in the community is a high priority for this Public Policy/History course. Student community service is a graduation requirement and students must perform 100 hours. As school districts redraw boundary lines, cut funding and require high stakes testing, student voice has been minimal in discussions of the issues that directly effect their lives. Students will learn to insert their voice and develop their leadership skills in order to become active participants and stewards in their communities. Students will identify, research, design and implement a service learning project by working in groups of five. Groups will be self selected based on service project interest, after brainstorming and identifying the issues that they would like to tackle. The goals of this lesson are to facilitate a hands on learning experience that is student lead from start to finish.

National Standards

Comprehension and Collaboration: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.9-10.1 Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9-10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively. Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.9-10.4 Present information, findings, and supporting evidence clearly, concisely, and logically such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and task. CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.9-10.1.C Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that relate the current discussion to broader themes or larger ideas; actively incorporate others into the discussion; and clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions. Integration of Knowledge and Ideas: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.7 Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, as well as in words) in order to address a question or solve a problem.


Students will be able to identify a community issue that they care about and brainstorm how to take steps to address it through a service learning project by assessing the community needs and working in a small group. The main How Might We Question is "How might we involve youth in the life of the community?


The teacher will need the Semester of Service Strategy Guide available for download at Students will need the student guide available at Teacher and students will need copies (inside the guide books or make copies) of pages 21-23 of the Teacher Strategy Guide. Page 21- Assessing the Community Need Page 22- Community Asset Mapping Page 23- Graphic organizer for community assets ERC Matching vocab game sheet Video clip  


Small group table setting (5 per group) Large poster paper (2 per group) Markers Pages 21-23 as listed above, 1 per student Sentence strips (one for each vocabulary word and another for each definition) ERC Matching vocab game sheet


assessment- to evaluate, determine a value of, appraise community- a social group of any size whose members reside in a specific locality, share government, and often have a common cultural and historical heritage. need- a lack of something wanted or deemed necassary benefit- something that is advantageous or good give- to present voluntarily without expecting compensation engagement- to take part in, to take action on behalf of service- an act of helpful activity requirement-  a need or necessity semester- happens at the college/university level and last for 15-18 weeks. asset- something of value, useful or of quality prototype-  An original model on which something is patterned. design- To make something for someone who needs to solve a problem, User- A person who operates or experiences the design.  


1. Initially the teacher can either count off by 5\\\'s or place students in groups of 5. Later in the lesson students will self select groups based on a common purpose. The teacher should have a word wall with each word printed large enough for all students to see on a sentence strip. The definitions should be written on a different sentence strip. Definitions should not be posted right away. The teacher can either pre-teach the vocab words or she can play a matching game with the words using the Matching Vocab Game sheet (attached). To play the matching game, the teacher can cut the words and definitions out on slips of paper, put one set of words in an envelope and give one envelope to each group. Set the timer for 3 minutes and tell the groups to work together to match the words with their definitions. The first group done wins. Once the timer goes off, the teacher can review the words with the whole group and post the definitions on the word wall for reference throughout the lesson (5 min). 2.  Teacher builds on the energy from the word game and asks students, \\\"How might we involve youth in the life of the community?\\\" (This is the main \\\"How might we question\\\" that will guide the design challenge.) Teacher should post an idea web with the question in the center and record student ideas  around the question up front. This way she models the brainstorming process and facilitates discussion by asking students clarifying questions. Clarifying questions can be pre-scripted for lower level learners and posted, or the teacher can use them to guide the discussion if students are not responding. Questions such as: What activities are currently available in your community? How do you decide what activities you\\\'d like to participate in? Who encourages you to be active? can prompt student responses. (10minutes) 3. Students will be given page 21 Assessing the Community Need (one per student) and the timer set for 10 minutes. Students should write their responses on a separate sheet of paper to ensure complete answers and sufficient space. The teacher should review the expectation that all students are working on their own and that there are no wrong or right answers. The teacher may want to play soft music or allow students to select three songs of their choice to listen to. Music usually makes the working atmosphere more appealing to students. 4. After the timer goes off the teacher can call on one person per question to share their answers in order to generate discussion. The teacher and students should pay attention to trends or common answers. Teacher should hone in on questions 2, 3 and 6. These questions reveal how students view themselves within the community, as well as, what issues they would like to tackle. (7 minutes) 5. Teacher should pose the question, \\\"How might we develop youth \\\"voice\\\" in the community?\\\" Students will use one piece of poster paper and write the question in the center of the paper. As previously modeled by the teacher, students will have 7 minutes to write down as many responses as possible. The teacher is encouraged to ask students for two songs of their choice, when the timer goes off, students should tape their poster boards around the room. Students can do a gallery walk (spend one minute in their group reading someone else\\\'s poster). The teacher can use the timer (1 min) and rotate. (7 minutes to brainstorm and no more than 6 minutes to gallery walk) 6. Once students are settled back in their seats, the teacher will ask, \\\"Based on our work thus far, think of one issue that you would like to address through service learning. This should be an issue that you care about and that you want to help solve.\\\" 7. Teacher should show the following video clip to the class (5 minutes) Guiding questions for the video are as follows (These should be written down by students or pre-printed and passed out prior to watching the video): a. What is the purpose of community mapping? b. In what city and state is the video shot? How does this location compare to your neighborhood? c.What type of information can you gather about a community by walking down the street? d. What can you learn about the community based on the fact that they have many newspaper receptacles available on the street? e. What does the presence of bike racks on the street tell you about the community? f. What type of housing do you see in the video? How might homeowners differ from apartment dwellers? After the video, the teacher and students should review the answers to the questions and discuss ways in which the students can do their own community assessment by walking around their neighborhoods. (7  minutes) 8. The teacher facilitates student group selection by writing down the service learning area and the five group members names below on the board up front. For students who are less independent, the teacher can use her discretion and place students in groups to even them out. 9. The teacher posts the steps of the design process and reviews each step with students. For step one, present the challenge, the teacher will give a question stem, \\\"How might we help our community solve the problem of _____________.\\\" Ask students to fill in the blank with their desired challenge on their second piece of poster paper. Before moving on, ensure that students are clear about the exact issue that they are working on. Make sure it is not a broad issue such as \\\"homelessness\\\" and a more focused issue such as \\\"homelessness among women and children in our city or county\\\". The groups should  record their issue in the center of their poster board. (3 minutes) 10. Students will use step two of the design process, Investigate, and page 22-23 Community asset mapping, to begin gathering information about their topic. Students will identify their individual assets within the group, as well as, the community that they will focus on. Students will have to decide how they will gather information: walk in the community and observe; interview community members, survey community members, use the Internet or read the newspaper. (15 minutes) 11. All results should be captured in the chart on page 23. If students are still struggling, find inspiration at www.GYSD,org/ideas. 12. Clean up and plan to continue with part 2 of the lesson next class.


Differentiation- peer group/ collaboration; pre-scripted questions; vocabulary matching activity; graphic organizer(brain storm web, chart); video. If students have successfully completed the community assessment in their groups and filled in the chart, then thay have met the objective of the lesson.

Enrichment Extension Activities

Students should go out into the community to implement the service learning project that they design. During the next lesson, students should engage in steps 3 through 6 of the design process. They should identify a service organization, call and find out how to volunteer and schedule an appointment. The third lesson should use steps 7 and 8 of the design process. Students should perform service and reflect on their experience. The Semester of Service Guide follows the design process very closely and has documents that students that can use to capture their experiences in the field.

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