Lesson Plans

Why?

An important part of being an effective civic leader in society involves conceptualizing how you would tackle issues if you were in a position of authority to make necessary reforms. Each of our Task Forces are designed to help students think critically about various issues and try to brainstorm well-detailed plans to try and solve them by roleplaying as key decision-makers.

What?

Each section starts off by setting the narrative and describing what they have been tasked with. For example, a Task Force about affordable housing might indicate that the individual(s) has/have been put in charge of creating an affordable housing proposition by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

How?

The second section informs the students about why the Task Force is being done with brief background information about the severity of the issue, as well as a brief breakdown of what is being done right now. It encourages the students to critique the system and try to reform it in different ways (even if they believe the current approach is appropriate, we ask them to try and improve it).

Steps

  1. Students are first asked to create a plan, design a program, or make a decision about an issue. Topic-specific questions are asked to get them to start critically thinking. 
  2. They are tasked with thinking through the possible objections that someone could have about their designs, and how they would answer them. In cases where something is already being done, they are asked to compare their plan with the current one in place and how they better approach the issue.
  3. The last part of the Task Force involves them presenting their ideas and trying to see if they can convince other classmates that they have taken the best possible initiativ

Important Reminders

  • Each of our Task Forces can be done in groups and individually.
  • The students should be urged to come up with a few strong ideas, rather than create an exhaustive list.
  • A vote should be taken when group members cannot agree on a specific criteria, and the disagreement should be mentioned in the presentation/discussion of their Task Force.
  • Each lesson plan includes an accompanying Google Slides template to be used with virtual breakout rooms in small groups.
  • You can send us questions or requests to [email protected] if you need help implementing these in your classroom!

Lesson Plans

Breaking the Binary

Task Force: Breaking the Binary Congratulations! You have been hired as part of the new marketing team for Mattel toy company. They have asked you

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Doing More With Less

Task Force: Doing More With Less Congratulations! The United Nations has chosen you to help progress their twelfth sustainable development goal: responsible consumption and production.

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Students Have A Say

Task Force: Students Have A Say Congratulations! The Board of Education has decided to put you in charge of completely redesigning the American education system.

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Immigration Awareness Program

Task Force: Immigration Awareness Program Congratulations! You have successfully organized a program to raise awareness about various struggles immigrants face when moving to a new

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Making Democracies Live

Task Force: Making Democracies Live Congratulations! The authors of How Democracies Die, Levitsky and Ziblatt, have recruited you to help come up with ideas for

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Redesigning School Lunches

 Task Force: Redesigning School Lunches Congratulations! Your published letter to the superintendent of your local school district about school lunches went viral and has attracted

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