Virtual Option: The activity below is meant to be in person, but you can use this Jamboard template to complete it virtually and follow the same steps. Alternatively, you can use other digital whiteboard apps.
What communities do you belong to? Give each participating student 20 post-it notes.
Round I: Represent
Step 1 - Teacher asks students: What does the term community mean to them? Discuss or write responses on board. From their responses, explain that “community” can mean different things to different people. A common definition is a group of people with a common characteristic or interest living together within a larger society
Step 2 - At the top of individual post-it notes, students write at least three communities they believe they are a part of. Communities may be as general as “Musicians” or “Students” and as specific as “Buddhist” or “Environmental club.” Here, you can also discuss that everyone might belong to a variety of local and national communities.
Round II: Roll Call
- On a whiteboard or chalkboard write the headline “Our Class.”
- Have students post their notes from Round I under the headline.
- Read their post-its aloud or choose students to read the post-its aloud.
- Ask students what they notice about the diverse interests of communities present in their class.
Round III: Shifting the Frame
- On the board draw two “frames.”
- Next to one frame write “What’s in the Frame” and next to the second frame write “What I Wish People Knew...”
- Divide students into small groups.
- Have each group pick three of the post-its from Round II.
- At the bottom of each post-it, have students write a list of some of the common narratives in mainstream media about this community.
- Ask students: “How is this community usually framed in the news and media? What are the common stories told about it?”
- Map your post-its by adding them to “What’s in the frame?”
- Next, have students take fresh post-it notes. Ask students what stories they wish were told about this community. You may phrase this: “What do you wish people knew about this? What is left out in the way this community is typically framed by the media?”
- Pick the same communities from “What’s in the Frame,” write them on the new post-its and answer the questions above.
- Map your answers in “I wish people knew”
Round IV: Who We Are…
- Pick a community that all your students are a part of. This could be “Teenagers,” “Youth,” “South Carolinians,” “New Yorkers,” etc.
- As a class, fill out some post-its for “What’s in the Frame” and “What I Wish People Knew…”
- Finally have students complete a self-reflection.