Civics Project Success

This past week we rapped up a culminating Civics Project. The first week back after break we read, in the Wonders reading series, a story about a girl named Clementine who used her talents to help others. Since one of our civics standards focuses on our civic duty to help others, we decided we would do just that. Here is how our project unfolded. 

1. I introduced the big idea -- we would be working as a non-profit business to collect canned goods for the local food pantry.

2. I revealed the four departments of our business.

  • Inventory Managers - Talented Mathematicians 
  • Communication Directors - Well Spoken/Outgoing 
  • Customer Relations - Talented Writers
  • Graphic Designers - Talented Artists/Creative
3. The next step was one of my favorite parts -- instead of my kids giving themselves jobs. Their classmates anonymously wrote down what talent went with each student. I was amazed at the thought that went in to this. Their lists looked very much like my list! Also, the kids felt very special after I revealed what their classmates thought their talents were. 

4. The first day of "work" everyone had a job. 
  • Inventory Managers - Made a chart/Organization system for all of the food that would be donated. 
  • Communication Directors - Made a list of possible donors to contact
  • Customer Relations - Wrote a blanket thank you letter to go out to all donors
  • Graphic Designers - Worked on a flier to be sent to all possible donors 
5. After the initial jobs were complete we worked every day for two weeks doing the following: 
  • Inventory Managers -- Collecting and graphing food 
  • Communication Directors - making announcements and delivering fliers 
  • Customer Relations - writing thank you cards 
  • Graphic Designers - Designed thank you cards to give to customer relations team
6. On our last day we reached out to an affiliate at the food bank to come accept the donation and planned our presentation. Our inventory managers worked on a final count, communication directors worked on speaking parts, our graphic designers worked on a welcome poster, and our customer relations team finished last minute thank you cards. 

When all was said and done it was a HUGE success. I strongly believe that students retain things when it's real world and meaningful. I hope they remember this project for years to come. 

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