At the beginning of the unit, students will be asked to journal their thoughts on what communities mean, how they are created, and which communities they are a part of. Throughout the unit, they will have to journal their realizations about communities and how they have changed their opinions about the functions of communities or not and why. Through journaling, they will make assumptions, ask questions, and make conclusions about their own communities. Their journals will help them document their learning and growth. It will also help them decide on which community they want to focus on for their final project.
The journals will also serve the purpose of asking students to privately reflect upon their own communitites. This is not an activity that should take place outloud because students might feel vulnerable discussing their private living situations. This activity is meant soley for self-reflections, which is a powerful activity.
Throughout the unit, students will engage in classroom discussions rooted in questions posed from the films. They will be required to ask questions, participate in answer questions, and work in small groups and whole groups. After classroom discussions, students will journal any points made they wish to document for their personal reflection.
The class will create a survey they will conduct with an array of people about community. They will be in charge of developing the questions on the survey and who to hand it out to. Their survey will serve as an assessment of people's community awareness, which will help them journal and develop an idea for their final projects.
While the staff at our school have a passion for alternative education and possess the tools necessary to succeed in our goal of reengaging these students in an institution they often find unwelcoming, there are many people who are against alternative education. I want to bring both sides of this issue into the classroom and allow my students to determine the positives and negatives of alternative education. Their school is a community they are a part of, and my goal for them is to conduct their own research and reflect on their own lives and experiences to make conclusions. The students will gather the necessary information they need to have a debate about whether the alternative education community encourages or discourages unity.