Community Building

Grade Level: 
6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Community Helpers
Needs Assessment
Social Action
Video Clip and Discussion Guide: An important part of being in a community is interdependence. The members of any community share ideas and responsibilities for maintaining and improving the community. This film clip shows two examples of communities forming through collaboration, or collective action, around an idea for improvement.

Anticipatory Set

When you think of the word, "community," you probably think of the town you live in. Not all communities are based on location. A classroom is a community, and so is a group that forms around a shared vision or interest. How did the ideas start that brought together these communities?

Note: One example is from a very old Army film (post WWII), and the other is a current-day example.



  1. What are the two communities that formed as examples in this film clip? How did each of these communities start?
  2. What are the steps the community went through from idea to getting hot lunch in the local school? 
  3. Although the historic film is old, what of that process is still relevant today? 
  4. What in your words is the role of citizens when a need arises in a community? 
  5. What are traits of people who work well in community building to get things done? Make a list. 
  6. What is a need in your school now that you would like to see addressed? Which are the most important issues raised in your group discussion?
  7. What can students do in your example? What do you need permission for? 
  8. What makes collective action effective to address needs? Whose responsibility is it to address the issue raised in #6? How do you know that's whose responsibility it is?

Follow-up Activity

Making everyone feel valued (no bullying or disrespect) is an imporatnt issue in all schools. Building community is an important part of increasing that shared value. Write a plan to build community around making all students feel important, no matter what their background, skills, appearance, limitations, and friend group. Use the steps discussed in #2 above.