Participating in your community

Participating in your community

Resources you'll need for this lesson:

Multiple copies of Belonging by Jeannie Baker, Walker Books, London, 2004; access to the internet.

Lesson body

Teacher will read the book Belonging by Jeannie Baker to students. The text is wordless, and the images are very detailed so copies of the book can be given to small groups of students to look at while the teacher is reading.

Ask students to look at the illustrations very carefully and think about:

After reading:

Begin a group discussion about the school community, the building and its surrounding environment (the oval, playground, canteen, carparks):

Sometimes a suggestion may be an issue of concern that needs action by the local government. For Canberra the local government is the Legislative Assembly for the ACT. Concerns can be raised in a number of ways:

Students may decide to write a petition to the principal or the school board about a school issue to gain some familiarity with how a petition operates. The petition could be endorsed by a teacher and other students could be signatories.

Information on how to write a petition can be found on the following links:

Further investigation:

Ask students to identify some groups in the local community and explore their purpose (e.g. scouts, guides, religious groups, sporting groups). Students can look on the internet to find more local groups. Ask students to identify at least two different community groups (they could work in pairs). Have a group discussion about why people want to belong to groups and write a list of the local community groups the students have found.

Lesson reflection

Ask students to reflect on what it means to be actively involved as a citizen. What is a citizen’s responsibility to their community? Why do people work so hard to make a positive difference to their neighbourhoods, schools, cities?

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