This week, we really began our Community Unit. I let the students know we would begin to plan our physical cities soon, but before we could do that we had to have a true understanding of what a community was. Our task this week was to define Community and determine what a strong community needed.
To do this we read the following books: Sofia Valdez, Future Prez, Vote our Future, Equality's Call, Harlem Grown, Lillian's Right to Vote, Big Tree Down, and Milo's Museum.
At the start of the week, I created a word web, and asked them to tell me words that they thought of when they heard the word community. As we continued reading throughout the week, we added on to this list.
On Thursday, during Project Time, we started taking the term community in the abstract and transitioned to what kind of community we wanted to create for ourselves. I posed the question, "What kind of community would you be proud to create?" and "What do you need in a community?" With the second question, there was a lot of push to think outside of wants and really hone in on what a community needs. They each answered this question individually, but then we came together to generate a list we could all agree on.
I, as always, was in awe of them, as they worked through this question as a collective. Below is the list of items they came up with, which will hang at the front of our classroom as a reminder to us as we continue to build our community:
My goal in this project is for students to see what they are capable of creating. That they would see the power in their convictions and that things don't have to be just because they have always been. When talking about what a community needs one student mentioned the need for cars. Someone respectably responded, "We don't need cars. We just need to be able to get places." It was a great opportunity to share with them, that before I moved to Ann Arbor, I spent 6 years without a car in Washington, D.C. because I relied on public transportation. It's conversations like these that we'll continue to have that will allow them to take and pick components of their community that they love and tweak and change what they believe can be better.
Next week, we'll continue to have these conversations, but we'll also begin to start the city planning phase of our community construction. (The moment they've all been waiting for!)
As always, I'll leave you with some lovely photos of our time at CFP!!
Have a wonderful weekend!