Time: Two weeks to gather information, work as a group, and
write an essay.
Students will gain a better sense of the democratic process
through a better understanding of community organizing.
about the democratic process.
a better understanding of local government.
a better understanding of community organizing.
lesson addresses the following national content standards established
by MCREL at http://www.mcrel.org/:
beliefs that are common to American political culture (e.g., belief
in equality of opportunity; mistrust of power, as well as high
expectations of what elected officials and government should do;
the need to admit to faults or shortcomings in the society; the
belief that social, economic, or political problems can be alleviated
through collective effort).
some of the discrepancies that have arisen between American ideals
and the realities of political and social life in the United States
(e.g., the ideal of equal justice for all and the reality that
the poor may not have equal access to the judicial system).
how various individual actions, social actions, and political
actions can help to reduce discrepancies between reality and the
ideals of American constitutional democracy.
issues regarding personal, political, and economic rights.
how certain character traits enhance citizens' ability to fulfill
personal and civic responsibilities.
how participation in civic and political life can help citizens
attain individual and public goals.
unemployment, income, and income distribution in a market economy.
that wages and salary are influenced by forces of supply and demand
for labor, as well as an individual's productivity, education,
training and skills.
that personal income is influenced by changes in the structure
of the economy, the level of gross domestic product, technology,
government policies, production costs and demand for specific
goods and services, and discrimination.
environmental and external factors that affect individual and
lesson also addresses the following national content standards established
by the National Council of Teachers of English at http://www.ncte.org/standards/thelist.html
groups of four to five students and let each group choose a community
problem or issue that they feel is important.
them to research the topic on the Internet and report back to
others in the group about what is being done to alleviate this
problem or issue in other communities.
the group vote on a solution or way of approaching the concern.
the students present their ideas to a government officials for
each student keep a journal about their experiences including
how they decided on an issue and how the group decided on a solution
or way of approaching the issue.
the group present a report to the rest of the class on what they
found out. Also, what they would need to address the issue. Also,
ask the students to explain what resources they would need to
address the issue. Have the students think about what strategy
they would develop if they worked in government.
should set standards for the project before it is assigned based
on individual work and group work. Also, determine how much time
should be spent on the lesson as well as the amount of research
required. For example, seek student input on what will make a
successful reports and how they should be presented to the class.
your students to grade themselves and their peers. Decide as a
class what percentage of the total grade should come from peer
feedback and self-assessment.
on specific skills that you want to emphasize, for example, group
work, leadership, research abilities, collective learning, and
presentation skills, and grade accordingly.
and/or Adaptation Ideas:
the group write a television news report, a Web site or a newspaper
article on the problem and or what groups in the community are
the group or each individual student write a review of Democracy
and how well democracy is working in this day and age.
the students make appointments with city or county officials,
express their concerns, and present their plan.