Community Spaces

Kelly Shaffstall

Unit Title: Community Spaces

Grade: 12

Subject: Social Studies

Key Words: Community Space, event, photography, group article,

Brief Summary:

For this unit students will explore community spaces in their community (ie farmer’s market, open mic, theater, music venue, etc) they will offer their community spaces to the class and groups will be determined by preferred space and access to that space. Groups will then go to an event at the community space, take pictures of the invitation/flyer and take pictures of the event. Students will then, using google docs, collaboratively write a journal article explaining the space and the event then critiquing the validity of the space as well as their action of field journalism against modern society. finally they will self assess their work using the project’s rubric.

Stage 1: Established Goals:


Tech Standard: 1.1.1 Generate ideas and create original works for personal and group expression using a variety of digital tools.

Social Studies Standard: 5.4.1 Evaluates positions and evidence to make one’s own decisions in a paper or presentation.

Students Will Be Able To: Combine Technologies to create and share products from different content areas.

Students Will Be Able To: Use a wide variety of digital media to collect and present information for a project.

Students Will Be Able To: Evaluate their stance on Community spaces and events and their validity.

What essential Questions will be considered?

What are Community Spaces and what is their purpose?

Is there validity in Community Spaces in modern society?

What is the effect of journalism and/or writing in groups on the personal experience of a Community Space?

Is there value in journalistic work based on experience?

What understandings are desired?

Community Spaces provide a place for local art in the community that in turn builds community.

Students will understand their stance on the use and importance of Community Spaces.

Students will learn important processes and practices of journalism.

Students will build these understanding under the umbrella of collaborative work.

What key knowledge and skills will students acquire as a result of this unit?

Students will know what community spaces are and where to find them or find out about community events

Students will know methods and practices of field journalism.

Students will understand how to use google docs

Students will be able to write more effectively in a group

Students will be able to explain what community spaces do for the community and if they have value.

Stage 2: Determine Acceptable Evidence:

Community Space Article Rubric:

Principles: of Journalism:

  • Picture of flyer/Invitation of Community event
  • Pictures of Event
  • Description of Event: how you heard of it, what is it, and when is it.
  • Analysis of event individually by each group member

Access: who is supposed to be there and who is able to be there
Purpose: what does it provide to the community/the participants
Validity: does this event have value in modern society

  • Analysis of community spaces as a whole

Access: who is supposed to be there and who is able to be there
Purpose: what does it provide to the community/the participants
Validity: does this event have value in modern society?

  • Analysis of journalism

Was it necessary or even useful to go into the field to write this article?
Are the principals of journalism a guide or hindrance or both and why?
Is there are purpose to journalism with social media allowing everyone to be journalists about anything?

  • Self-Assessment

My actions consistently benefited group work?


  • My work in the article answers the above criteria?



  • My opinions are verified by experience and careful thought?


What evidence will show that students understand?

Students will find a community event to go to and write a journal article explaining their experience in that space.

Students will evaluate that experience and determine its validity.

Students will demonstrate journalistic integrity by being critical, self-reflective, honest, and work as a team.

What other evidence needs to be collected in light of stage 1 desired results?

Other evidence: photos, google doc typing with multiple text colors, flier for event, quiz on journalism.

Student Self-Assessment and Reflection:

Part of the article will be to determine personal validity in community spaces and field journalism which will serve as students’ reflection on the content of the unit.

What understanding or goals will be assessed through this task?

As students work I will check off if their community event matches the criteria and is accessible for all people in the group. I will follow students’ google docs typing and see that all voices are being represented through students using different font colors.

Through what authentic performance task will students demonstrate understanding?

A unit on the importance of community spaces for sharing ideas, music, paintings, theater, etc.

I will explain public spaces, maybe have students give examples

“Right now by art I mean: music, plays, standup comedy, poetry readings, or movies. Has anyone seen a local art performance or been to a friend’s local art even?”

“Tell us about how you found out about it”

If no one has or doesn’t remember: “I have. Let me tell you about what I’m talking about…”

I will explain the Unit and what students will be able to do.

“So here is what we will be doing for the next few days…

  • Find a space where community events are posted: café, library, college, venues, websites
  • Discuss places in class and break into groups of 2 or 3 for what event location is accessible
  • Find an event to go to and take a picture of the flyer
  • Go to even and take pictures
  • Write a collaborative article of the event with your pictures

“Doing this will help us understand what community spaces and events are and what their purpose is and get us talking about those ideas”

I will explain the technology

“There are two new technologies we will be working with over these next few days…”

  • Camera: Many People have cameras on their phones or other cameras at home someone in your group must have access to one camera, ideally everyone with have a camera.
  • Google Docs: there is internet access here before/after school, in the library during lunch, or at home

“What makes these technologies essential is that good photography helps tell good journalism, and google docs is one of the most effective ways to write collaboratively”

What student products and performances will provide evidence of desired understandings?

The group article and the photographs

By what criteria will student products and performances be evaluated?

Self-reflection and teacher evaluation based on project rubric.

Are the targeted understandings enduring, based on transferable, big ideas at the heart of the discipline and in need of uncovering?

Yes, students will understand how to access community events and the importance of them as well as important journalism skills.

Are the targeted understanding framed by questions that spark meaningful connections, provoke genuine inquiry and deep thought, and encourage transfer?

Yes, students’ inquiry will be based on personal experiences selected by a small group of themselves and one or two peers. There will be transferability because if students saw community events as important that might encourage them to go to more. If students found the journalism skills useful they might transfer that skill to twitter or bloging.

Are the essential questions provocative, arguable, and likely to generate inquiry around the central ideas rather than a pat answer?

Yes. This is specifically due to the times we are in. People are spending more and more time with technology yet this technology, even games, are taking on a more social and community role. With technology where everyone is a journalist in some way what is the purpose or strength in journalism skills and with people becoming so plugged into technology in their time between places what is the role of the community space and is it still valid? These are important inquiries for our modern society.

Are appropriate goals (eg Content standards, benchmarks, curriculum objectives) identified?

Yes the Unit is broken into four portions. The portions of the unit are: individually identifying community spaces and events, assembling groups who have access to the event of their location and choice, attending event and take pictures, and the objectives of their article. Unit standards and rubric for the journal will be attached to the unit overview.

Are valid and unit-relevant knowledge and skills identified?

Yes. Although the values and practice of journalism are analyzed as part of the unit they are also an applied skill with high transfer ability for analysis and writing skills.

Stage 2: To what extent do the assessments provide fair, valid, reliable, and sufficient measures of the desired result?

Are students asked to exhibit their understanding through authentic performance tasks?

Yes. The group journal writing assignment not only has students analyzing and assessing a community event but also has students contemplating the community space as a viable social form in the modern world where most “community” interaction takes place with and through technology.

Are appropriate criterion-based scoring tools used to evaluate student products and performances?

Yes. The concept of community spaces and the specific events will be discussed as a whole class and as groups so what is acceptable for the project will be already flushed out and filtered. The journal writing itself will be done with a multi-editable text with which students will write in different colors so that student progress and performance can be easily assessed individually and in relation to the group.

Are various appropriate assessment formats used to provide additional evidence of learning?

Yes. The main assessment will be students work and analysis of the community space and the impact of field journalism. Other assessments include the strength and application of the journalistic practice.

Are the assessments used as feedback for students and teachers, as well as for evaluations?

Yes. Step by step check-offs of work as it’s completed will serve as a guide to students work and a pacing mechanic. Also group work, with multiple font colors, will allow students to compare and contrast their writing and analysis against that of their peers in their group.

Are students encouraged to self-assess?

Yes. As stated above; students will self-assess their writing against that of their group. Also the writing piece itself asks students to be reflective of the journal process and community spaces and events which encourages them to assess their interactions.

Stage 3: To what extent is the learning plan effective and engaging?

Types of Technology:

This learning plan is effective and engaging because students will be analyzing and critiquing their own community with their peers. Students will prove their journalistic technique and integrity while critiquing both field journalism and community spaces and events in their own community.

Will the students know where they’re going, the learning goals, why the material is important, reason for learning the content, and what is required of them, unit goal, performance requirements, and evaluative criteria?

Yes. Materials (camera and google docs) are essential for the journal writing process. The unit overview will establish learning goals, what is required, and rubrics. With this students will see the importance of the work and see what makes essential aspects essential.

Will the students be hooked – engaged in digging into the big ideas, eg through inquiry, research, problem solving, and experimentation?

Yes. Students will be engaged in the work because they will be analyzing their own community spaces with peers and accessing and evaluating a the events of their community that they attend.

Will the students have adequate opportunities to explore and experience big ideas and receive instruction to equip them for the required performances?

Yes. There will be check-ins throughout the group process as well as intergroup check-ins through the interaction with the community event and the group writing process.

Will the students have sufficient opportunities to rethink, rehearse, revise, and refine their work based upon timely feedback?

Yes. The whole writing process will involve rethinking, rehearsing, revising, and refining as a group. I will also have access students’ google docs and do a mid-article check-in to evaluate work thus far.

Will the students have an opportunity to evaluate their work, reflect on their learning, and set goals?

Yes. The group writing process through google docs allows students to evaluate and reflect their group work in relation to the rubric.

Is the learning plan tailored and flexible to address the interests and learning styles of all students?

Yes. Students are able to recommend community spaces and events to offer up as suggestions to the class. Then as groups they select a community space that is accessible to everyone. And the group writing process is group led and assessed individually according to expectations.

Is the learning plan organized and sequenced to maximize engagement and effectiveness?

Yes. The unit is structured in stages with different levels of group interaction including going to a community event as a group and writing the article collaboratively.

Overall Design – To what extent is the entire unit coherent, with the elements of all three stages aligned?

Stage 1: To what extend does the design focus on the big ideas of targeted content?

Stage 2: To what extent do the assessments provide fair, valid, reliable, and sufficient measures of the desired result?

Stage 3: to what extent is the learning plan effective and engaging?

In the first stage students are using community spaces collaboratively to experience and collectively write a journal article explaining the event, their experience, and critique the validity both of the event and space as well as the purpose of their journalism. This is tied to assessment because they are being assessed on having all the sections needed for their article as well as the critiques and a self-reflection on group work. All of this ties into engagement because the goals and assessment are asking students to collaboratively go to a community space and community event in their community and to analyze and critique them through collaborative journal writing.





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