Overall Objective and Connection to Civic Participation
This was the first civic participation geared activity I used in my citizenship class. I chose this activity because I thought it was a good starting point to draw the link between students' communities and the citizenship process. Often times the citizenship process is viewed as a separate kind of knowledge that is learned for the test. I wanted to breakdown the wall between citizenship and civic participation or community involvement in my classroom by showing that the two are intertwined and very much a part of each other. The way we did the activity got students to think about their community on a daily level and how citizenship related to their day-to-day lives. Overall, the activity revealed a stronger connection between gaining US citizenship and students' lives in their community.
Description of the Activity:
What is the first thing you notice about your
map and the places you go?
As we discussed the questions I made notes to supplement the lists. For example, I would write an "I" next to responses that students said were "important" to them. I also drew lines between students' columns to show similarities.
After we discussed the questions, the maps, and the connections between maps, I asked the following questions:
What are your impressions now about your maps?
By the end of the activity we had a collective intricate map that uncovered the interwoven web of life in the community and how citizenship affects their lives. I closed by asking students what they thought of the activity, if they found it helpful, and what they learned.
Evaluation or Evidence of Learning:
The community maps went over very well in an impromptu
sort of way. The students all live in the same community give or take
a few blocks from each other. I asked them where they speak English and
their native language, which places they avoid in their community, which
places were most important in their lives, and lastly in what areas of
their community will citizenship affect/improve. The results exposed that
the areas of their life that are most important (home, school, work, family,
bank) were also areas that their gaining citizenship will affect. The
only important place they felt citizenship would not affect was their
house of worship.
England Literacy Resource Center