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Teachers Network Leadership Institute:
Fair Share for Our Schools: A Multidisciplinary Curriculum: Introducing Equity and Equality: Lesson Three
View the Short Video: Campaign for Fiscal Equality: Students Speak Out

Advocating A Community Need

  Lesson Materials (word document)

This lesson follows Lesson Two on equity and equality.
(Need Lesson One?)

After a discussion of wants and needs of a community as well as the needs the government provides, discuss a community’s needs and issues relevant to your students. For example, you may talk about a need in your school, or a physical need in your community, such as a needed stoplight or improvements to a playground. Guide your class to a realistic need. The purpose is to inform elected officials of a community need. Keep realistic expectations. The focus of the lesson is writing a letter of advocacy.


Students will

  • Express a community need to an elected official
  • Begin to develop a sense of advocacy
  • Provide rationale for their request
  • Collaborate to create a persuasive message


-Address of elected official (when online, print out a picture of your elected official and his/her bio to make a stronger connection with your students)
-Chart paper
-Marking pens
-Large Envelope
-Class photo
-White Paper


1. Review your discussion of wants and needs. Talk about community needs that aren’t being met. Try to focus on an issue that your students can relate to. Here are some talking points: “In our last few lessons, we’ve discussed the need of our community, and it seems that some of the needs of our community are not being met. We can do something about it! We can write a letter to _______ and tell him/her what our class thinks.”


2. “Since we have chosen to write our community need ________, I want to share with you who we are writing to.” Present the name, photo and bio of your elected official.

3. “Before we start writing our letter, let’s discuss important things to include (you may work with a whole group on the rug or have students fill in a ready made handout with the following table):

4. “Now let’s write our letter.” Guide your students’ writing. Make sure you use a proper format with correct grammar and spelling.

Who are we? What is the problem? Why is it a problem? Why does our community need it? Who benefits from it?
Ms. X’s class of first graders at P.S. Broken equipment on playground and poorly maintained

Kids could get hurt on broken equipment

Kids don’t like using the playground because there is _______

Kids should have public places to play.

Kids need to play to stay healthy.

Parents and Children

Subject Areas:
Social Justice

Grade Levels:  K-2

About the teacher:

Karyn Wynn is a first grade teacher at P.S. 204 in the South Bronx. In her third year teaching, Karyn builds a community classroom with her students, emphasizing team work, building self esteem and celebrating every student accomplishment. As the lead first grade teacher at her school, Karyn collaborates with her collegues to integrate and differential curriculum across the grade. A recent, Teaching Fellow graduate, Karyn holds a Masters in Education from Mercy College. Karyn in still involved in the Teaching Fellow Advisory Board, supporting their mission to recruit and train new teachers to serve high need areas. Participating in the Teacher's College Writing Project this year, Karyn hopes to create a more dynamic writing workshop, as well as, developing a love of literacy in her classroom. It is this area of study which Karyn hopes to further investigate in her teacher research project thought the Teachers Network Leadership Institute fellowship. When Karyn is not teaching, she loves to travel, cook and read.





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