Develop Skills and Knowledge

How do we develop the skills and knowledge to build strong communities? The following activities and lesson plans help you foster a culture of caring, respect, and purposeful inquiry. 

Get to the Root

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Get to the Root

In this activity, students use critical thinking to deconstruct an issue they care about. They identify a problem, explore the root causes and effects, and research who the experts are. This is a great way to build community, use creative expression, and come up with different approaches to the next best steps in the service-learning process. 

Difficult Conversations

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Difficult Conversations

Tips and resources about addressing challenging issues in the classroom. Follow these guidelines to establish a safe environment, promote respectful dialogue, back up arguments with facts, and talk about news and current events with students.

Media Literacy

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Media Literacy

Help students identify credible sources, evaluate the role of media, recognize bias, and use critical-thinking related to current events and controversial topics.

Resolving Conflict with Respect Lesson Plan

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Resolving Conflict with Respect Lesson Plan

In civil society, different people come together to form community. While differences may cause conflict, for the sake of the common good, we practice empathy and respect for others. Students respond to scenarios of differences in opinion. They learn to communicate respectfully with someone of a different opinion and to seek common ground or compromise. The lesson concludes with a service project in which the students create posters to teach these methods to the school or community. 

Community Mapping of Resources

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Community Mapping of Resources

Identify community assets and potential partners in project planning. Students collect data in order to create a map of community assets and resources within a defined area. A community map highlights people, physical structures, organizations, and institutions that can be utilized to create a meaningful service project

Video Discussion Guides

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Video Discussion Guides

These brief and engaging videos are great for the classroom, youth club, or grantmaking meeting to build understanding of philanthropy and the nonprofit sector. Each guide includes a 2-15 minute video clip, discussion questions, and a follow-up activity. Thanks to Dr. Salvatore Alaimo at GVSU for donating the clips from his feature length film, "What Is Philanthropy?"

Communicating with Philanthropy

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Communicating with Philanthropy

This resource guide highlights activities you can do with your students to help them enhance their communication and listening skills.