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Your Guide to Taking Action with Community Mapping

Secondary, Elementary, Middle

Description

The resource takes the form of a workbook that guides the students through the steps for taking action on a local issue. 

The students first draw a map of their community in order to identify its key assets and important issues.  The students also identify their own strengths through a reflection activity.  They then try to pair particular needs of their community with their own abilities and interests.  The students select an issue based on the information collected during these activities and create an action plan.  The action plan is implemented and the results are celebrated.

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

  • Step by step problem solving
  • Evaluation of personal skills

Strengths

  • numerous case studies provided
  • amount of student choice
  • locally focused

Weaknesses

  • lack of assessment materials

Relevant Curriculum Units

The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.

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  • Alberta
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    • Grade 5
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      • Social Studies
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        • Canada: The Land, Histories and Stories: Physical Geography of Canada
    • Grade 6
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      • Social Studies
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        • Democracy: Action and Participation: Citizens Participatiing in Decision Making
  • Manitoba
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      • Social Studies
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        • Canada - A Country of Change (1867 to Present):Canada Today: Democracy, Diversity and the Influence of the Past
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      • Social Studies
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        • People & Places in the World: Global Quality of Life
  • New Brunswick
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        • Canadian Identity: Citizenship
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        • Canadian Identitity: Citizenship and Identity: What it Means to be Canadian
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    • Grade 10
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      • Civic Studies
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        • Citizenship in Canada
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        • Citizenship
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      • Geography
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        • Global Settlement: Patterns and Sustainability
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      • Geography
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        • Issues in Canadian Geography (Applied): Liveable Communities
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      • Civic Studies
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        • Civics and Citizenship (Open): Civic Engagement and Action
  • Prince Edward Island
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        • Canadian Identity: Citizenship
  • Yukon Territory
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    • Grade 5
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      • Social Studies
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        • Canada – From Colony to Country: Skills and Processes of Social Studies
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        • Canada and the World: Skills and processes of Social Studies
    • Grade 7
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      • Social Studies
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        • Applications of SS
    • Grade 8
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      • Social Studies
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        • Applications of Social Studies

Themes Addressed

  • Citizenship (2)

    • Community-Building and Participation
    • General Guide to Taking Action

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Very Good

Although the resource provides a step by step guide, the students conduct their own examination of issues within their community without influence or interference.

Consideration of Alternative Perspectives:
  • Satisfactory: absence of bias towards any one point of view
  • Good: students consider different points of view regarding issues, problems discussed
  • Very good: based on the consideration of different views, students form opinions and  take an informed position
Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions Very Good

This resource does a wonderful job of demonstrating the interplay amongst the economic, the environmental and the societal issues affecting our communities with the multiple case studies and the mapping activity.

Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions:

Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.

  • Satisfactory: resource supports the examination of  these dimensions
  • Good:  resource explicitly examines the interplay of these dimensions
  • Very Good:  a systems-thinking approach is encouraged to examine these three dimensions
Respects Complexity Very Good
Respects Complexity:

The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.

Acting on Learning Very Good

The primary focus of the resource is to take action by making a positive realistic change in the students' community.

Acting on Learning:

Learning moves from understanding  issues  to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community,  or for the planet

  • Satisfactory: action opportunities are included as extensions 
  • Good: action opportunities are core components of the resource
  • Very Good: action opportunities for students are well supported and intended to result in observable, positive change
Values Education Very Good

The students are provided with plenty of opportunities to share their ideas and beliefs.

Values Education:

Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.

Empathy & Respect for Humans Very Good

In the assessment of the needs and the assets of their community the students are encouraged to look for the aspects of the community that may trouble them.

Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).
Personal Affinity with Earth Very Good

In order to draw their map, the students are encouraged to walk around their community and to look with a different perspective.

Personal Affinity with Earth:

Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.  

  • Satisfactory: connection is made to the natural world
  • Good: fosters appreciation/concern for the natural world
  • Very Good: fosters stewardship though practical and respectful experiences out-of-doors 
Locally-Focused Learning Very Good

The entire resource is focused on the community in which the students live.

Locally-Focused Learning:

Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community. 

  • Satisfactory: learning is made relevant to the lives of the learners
  • Good: learning is made relevant and has a local focus
  • Very Good: learning is made relevant, local and takes place ‘outside’ , in the community 
Past, Present & Future Poor/Not considered

The resource does not address this component.

Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.

Pedagogical Approaches

Principle Rating Explanation
Open-Ended Instruction Very Good

The resource is structured so that the students decide the objective of the action and how to get there.

Open-Ended Instruction :

Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.

Integrated Learning Good

The strength of the resource in this area depends entirely on the final action that is chosen by the students.

Integrated Learning:

Learning brings together content and skills  from more than one  subject area

  • Satisfactory: content from a number of different  subject areas is readily identifiable
  • Good:  resource is appropriate for use in more than one subject area
  • Very Good:  the lines between subjects are blurred 
Inquiry Learning Very Good
Inquiry Learning:

Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.   

  • Satisfactory: Students are provided with questions/problems to solve and some direction on how to arrive at solutions.
  • Good: students, assisted by the teacher clarify the question(s) to ask and the process to follow to arrive at solutions.  Sometimes referred to as Guided Inquiry
  • Very Good:  students generate the questions and assume much of the responsibility for how to solve them.  . Sometimes referred to as self-directed learning.

 

Differentiated Instruction Good

A key element in the resource design is to have students identify and then apply their own strengths in the learning.

Differentiated Instruction:

Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.

  • Satisfactory:  includes a variety of instructional approaches
  • Good: addresses  the needs of visual, auditory &  kinesthetic learners
  • Very Good: also includes strategies for learners with difficulties
Experiential Learning Very Good

The focus of this resource is teaching skills and process that students apply in authentic circumstance.

Experiential Learning:

Authentic learning experiences are provided

  • Satisfactory: learning takes place through ‘hands-on’ experience or simulation
  • Good: learning involves direct experience in a ‘real world context’
  • Very good: learning involves ‘real world experiences’ taking place’ beyond the school walls.
Cooperative Learning Satisfactory
Cooperative Learning:

Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.

  • Satisfactory:  students work in groups
  • Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught and practiced
  • Very Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught, practiced and assessed
Assessment & Evaluation Poor/Not considered

The focus of this resource is less on the classroom and more on taking action.  There are no assessment tools provided nor are there any accommodations suggested.

Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.
Peer Teaching Satisfactory
Peer Teaching:

Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.

  • Satisfactory: incidental teaching that arises from cooperative learning, presentations, etc.
  • Good or Very Good: an opportunity is intentionally created to empower students to teach other students/community members. The audience is somehow reliant on the students' teaching (students are not simply ‘presenting')
Case Studies Very Good

There are numerous stories and examples throughout the workbook that illustrate what others young people have done within their own communities.

Case Studies:

Relevant case studies are included.  Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore  concepts in an authentic context.

Locus of Control Very Good

The entire resource is based on allowing the students to guide the activity and make their own choices.

Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.