3 Engaging your students in a citizenship project

Whether you invite your students to suggest a topic themselves, offer them selection to choose from, or propose a topic of your choice, part of the process of engaging your students in a class project involves listening to and responding to their suggestions and ideas.

Whichever approach you take regarding the choice of topic, it is helpful to begin by discussing the concept of citizenship with your students.

Activity 3: Engaging your students in a class project

Explain to your students that they are going to do a class project and that you would like their suggestions as to what it might involve. Organise the class into groups. Provide each group with a piece of paper headed with a question or choice of topics to prompt their discussions – for example:

  • In what ways can we make our school more attractive?
  • How can we improve our village?

Ask every student to contribute at least one idea to the discussion and write it on the piece of paper. When the time is up, invite volunteers from each group to feed back to the whole class. Write the ideas on the blackboard, ensuring that that everyone listens respectfully to their classmates’ suggestions.

Once the list is complete, ask your students to talk in their groups about the ideas they liked best. If appropriate, bring the class back together for a vote.

Through discussions such as these, your students will develop citizenship skills by thinking about issues that concern them, by voting, and by reaching agreement. They will develop language and literacy skills by listening, discussing, note-taking and feeding back to the rest of the class. These two strands of learning should be followed through throughout the project.

Pause for thought

What did you learn about your students from doing this activity with them?

For more ideas about involving all your students in classroom learning, see Resource 2.

2 Planning a citizenship project

Identifying sources of information for the project