Community of Trusted Learners

Grades: 
6, 7, 8

In this lesson, learners brainstorm the traits of a community of trusted learners, describing what it would look like if students and teachers in a classroom felt a high level of trust with each other. They have the opportunity to rate how their classroom community falls on a trust continuum.

Lesson Rating 
0
Duration 
PrintOne 20-minute lesson
Objectives 

The learner will:

  • brainstorm facts, benefits, judgments, feelings, and possibilities of having a classroom that feels like a community of trusted learners.
  • rate his or her homeroom community on a continuum of trustworthiness.
Teacher Preparation 

In preparation for brainstorming, write the following questions across the board with room to list ideas under each:

  • What are the facts?
  • What are the benefits?
  • What are the judgments (what could be wrong)?
  • What are the feelings?
  • What creative new ideas are possible?
  • How can we put ideas into action?

Instructions

Print
  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Ask the students to refer to what they know about trust to imagine what a "community of trusted learners" would be like and how it would be different than a traditional classroom of students. One idea is that in a classroom,when misunderstandings arise, students don't make the effort to work them out, which results in resentment or conflict. In a community built on trust, learners promote communication and understanding as they try to be fair and cooperative.

  2. Write the following questions on the board as categories to brainstorm. The students use these as a guide to describe what a "community of trusted learners" would look like.

    • What are the facts?
    • What are the benefits?
    • What are the judgments (what could be wrong)?
    • What are the feelings?
    • What creative new ideas are possible?
    • How can we put ideas into action?
  3. Describe to the students an imaginary line on the floor that represents a continuum. Tell them at one end of the continuum is distrustful individuals and the other end is a community of trust. Have students stand on the continuum to show where they think their classroom falls. Discuss the outcome and how their classroom could move along the continuum to become more trusting.

Cross Curriculum 

This character education mini-lesson is not intended to be a service learning lesson or to meet the K-12 Service-Learning Standards for Quality Practice. The character education units will be most effective when taught in conjunction with a student-designed service project that provides a real world setting in which students can develop and practice good character and leadership skills. For ideas and suggestions for organizing service events go to generationon.org.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.4 Give examples of how individuals have helped others.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Define the phrase <i>community/social capital</i> and discuss how it relates to all communities.