Community Advocate Scavenger Hunt
This activity has students explore different ways to stay informed and be involved in their community. Through a scavenger hunt, they will independently, or in small groups, gather evidence from exploring their own community. It is recommended to assign the scavenger hunt as an ongoing activity to be done outside of class time.
Download the entire Community Advocate Scavenger Hunt Lesson Plan.
How does the shape that we give to your city, in turn, shape us?
Supporting Question: What are the current struggles and successes of my community?
I can explain how to be an active citizen who advocates for a strong community.
I can explore my community to find evidence of citizens advocating for a strong community.
“The NashVitality Movement” excerpt in Shaping the Healthy Community: The Nashville Plan (pg. 29)
“Tough, tiny Chestnut Hill works to stay affordable” Tennessean article by Tony Gonzalez
*Definitions can be found in the glossary in the back of the Curriculum Guide.
“Community Advocate Scavenger Hunt” handout
Internet access for student research
Launch: 30 min
In class: two 30 minute work sessions over the course of two weeks
Out of class: minimum of two weeks
Total class time: 1 hr 40 min
- Handouts: One or both of the supporting texts
- “Citizen” and “Citizenship” definitions ready for display
- Handouts: “Community Advocate Scavenger Hunt”
- Determine which pieces of evidence you want to require for students.
- If there is anything that is not mentioned that you would like students to research, write it in the “Other” category.
- Determine a way for students to document their evidence. Some recommended methods are either a social media page, or poster requirements for students to document their evidence.
- Questions ready for display.
This launch has students reflect on what they already know about active citizenship in a local community before diving into the exploration of different citizen efforts.
- Define citizen and citizenship: a. Citizen - An inhabitant of a city or town.
Citizen - An inhabitant of a city or town.
- Citizenship - Behavior in terms of the duties, obligation, and functions of a citizen.
- Citizenship discussion: Discuss as a class what it means to be a citizen of a country, state, or city, such as voting, obeying laws, staying informed, and paying taxes. The depth of this conversation can depend on the extent of your student’s education so far on what it means to be a citizen. Close the discussion on the fact that citizen involvement in the planning of the community is important for creating great places to live.
- Examples: The supporting text for this activity contains examples of communities that came together to support positive change. It is recommended to assign one or both of these texts as pre-reading, and to discuss in class how citizens were active in supporting change in the community. You may also want to show some more examples of websites or activist groups so your students can see what they will be looking for. Here are a few exaples for Nashville:
- Jefferson Street Neighborhood Coalition - see Facebook page
- Transition to Activity: Explain that strong communities depend on citizens being involved. Discuss the questions: What are some ways that you have seen people being active in your community? This could be events to raise awareness for a cause, campaigns for elections, farmer’s markets, social media pages, etc.
Complete the scavenger hunt to find evidence of citizens advocating for their community.
- Introduction: Introduce the scavenger hunt categories and directions. Each category has options for gathering evidence, which is intended to give teachers flexibility for requirements.
- Evidence documentation: Explain and demonstrate to students how they should document their evidence. See below for some recommended methods:
- Social media page - Create a class Facebook, Instagram, etc. page for them to post picture evidence. Smugmug.com is also recommended.
- Poster - Have students display all of their evidence by category on a poster.
- Work time: Although most of the scavenger hunt is intended to be done outside of the classroom, it would be good to allow some students in-class time for the portions that require online research. This will also allow students time to ask questions about categories they are struggling with.
- What parts of the scavenger hunt were east to find? Why?
- What parts of the scavenger hunt were hard to find? Why?
- Do you believe that youth should be involved in these citizen efforts? Why or why not?
- How can you be involved in shaping your community after this activity?
- Why is it important that citizens are involved in the planning of their communities?