An HTML white paper on "Why." The Internet provides new and effective ways of strengthening the lines of communication among parents, teachers, students, and the larger community.
Jay Horschak is an English and social studies teacher at E. W. Seaholm High School in Birmingham, MI, an affluent suburb of Detroit. Seaholm has roughly 1200 students in grades 9-12. Jay is a co-founder of the Flexible Scheduling Program which involves 180 students in grades 9-12.
- Building Community Web Pages
Students will work in task forces to explore the contributions of community organizations and will develop Web pages for a number of local agencies.
- Lesson One: Organization Fair. Students begin their investigations of community organizations by creating brief profiles of local agencies.
- Lesson Two: Agency Contacts. Student task forces begin contacting organizations they have chosen to profile.
- Lesson Three: Building Web Pages. Student task forces complete their profiles by creating Web pages about their community agencies. Students' Web pages are compiled in a central site and the projects are announced on various electronic forums.
- Investigating Environmental Legislation
The Investigating Environmental Legislation Unit includes a variety of activities where students learn about environmental laws and the voting records of their local and state legislators.
- Lesson One: Identifying local and state legislators. This lesson involves using a variety of resources to identify local and state legislators. The activity can be introduced with a general group discussion on how laws are made at the state and national level, as well as how legislators are elected, the kind of laws recently passed, and the relationship between laws and environmental issues.
- Lesson Two: Legislator environmental voting records. In this lesson, students use the Internet to investigate their local and state legislators' voting record on environmental issues of interest. Students can be organized into groups to investigate stance specific Senators and Representatives have on a variety of important environmental issues.
- Lesson Three: Write a report on environmental records of local and state legislators'. Following their research, students write and peer edit reports on their local and state legislators. Students are encouraged to develop their own criteria for evaluating the performance of legislators and focus on specific environmental issues such as endangered species, toxic waste, or timber/logging on federal lands.
- Lesson Four: Current environmental legislation. Students use the Internet to identify and review pending environmental legislation that might impact their local community. The rich variety of Internet resources available allows students to search for legislation of interest on environmental issues.
- Lesson Five: Letters to local and state legislators. Students write to their local and state legislators, either via e-mail or U.S. mail, critiquing their voting record on environmental issues and sharing their own views on these important issues.
Tips & Techniques for connecting what goes on in school with what's happening in the local community and at home.
Related Resources for Home and Community.