Finding Civic Solutions


Civics Citizen Participation and Government Finding Civic Solutions
Students experience planning a civic service project. First they examine the two major preparatory steps for planning a solution to a civic problem: researching existing public policy and identifying what body is responsible for the problem. Then they analyze an example of a community project run by teens. Finally, they experience the steps themselves by choosing a problem, researching public policy alternatives, and developing a plan of action.

This learning experience is designed for device-enabled classrooms. The teacher guides the lesson, and students use embedded resources, social media skills, and critical thinking skills to actively participate. To get access to a free version of the complete lesson, sign up for an exploros account.

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Teacher Pack

The Pack contains associated resources for the learning experience, typically in the form of articles and videos. There is a teacher Pack (with only teacher information) and a student Pack (which contains only student information). As a teacher, you can toggle between both to see everything.

Here are the teacher pack items for Finding Civic Solutions:

Preview - Scene 1
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Overview

In this experience, students experience planning a civic service project. First they examine the two major preparatory steps for planning a solution to a civic problem: researching existing public policy and identifying what body is responsible for the problem. Then they analyze an example of a community project run by teens. Finally, they experience the steps themselves by choosing a problem, researching public policy alternatives, and developing a plan of action. There is an optional self-evaluation scene for students who actually implement their plans.

Objective

  • Develop a plan to resolve a civic problem.

If you plan to teach this experience at the theoretical level, you should make it active for about one week. If you plan to have students implement their plans as actual civic projects, you should leave the experience active for the duration of the project so that students can update their plans and self-evaluate the outcome.

You may let students choose their own civic problem to solve, or you may provide a problem for a classwide project.

Students should post their work individually throughout this experience. However, it is recommended that they work in groups for developing and optionally implementing their plans. You may even let students work in groups from outside the classroom, such as a scout troop, youth group, or family group.


“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.”

—Margaret Mead


As a citizen you can have an impact on the community in which you live. This lesson will focus on ways that you can make your community a better place to live.

Objective

  • Develop a plan to resolve a civic problem.

Has there ever been something about your community that made you think: “Hey, I need to do something about that”? Maybe something like litter in a public park, seniors who need help buying food, or homeless people sleeping outside at night.




Graffiti like that shown above is a form of vandalism, in which property is purposely damaged.


How would you feel if you saw graffiti like this on a building in your neighborhood? In a word or short phrase, describe your initial reaction.

Post your answer

Now brainstorm an idea of what you could do to address the problem of graffiti in your neighborhood.



What steps could you take to implement your idea? What government agencies could you approach for help?

Post your answer

Students might suggest notifying the local police department. The local government or city council might be able to pass stricter laws against vandalism or step up enforcement of laws already on the books.

Graffiti is a local issue that might require citizen action. Students might suggest leading friends and neighbors in an effort to paint over the graffiti or start a community crime watch.

Tell students that later in this experience they will develop a plan for dealing with a civic issue.


When everyone is ready to continue, unlock the next scene.

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The Complete List of Learning Experiences in Citizen Participation and Government Unit.
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