Participate, Because You Can Make a Difference!

Contributor: Victoria Surface. Lesson ID: 10188

Do you see or know of something in your community that doesn't seem right or could be made better? Your community can be as small as your street and large as the world. Learn how to make a difference!


Civics, Interpersonal Skills

learning style
Kinesthetic, Visual
personality style
Lion, Otter
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!


"Participation — that’s what’s gonna save the human race" (Pete Seeger, singer and activist).

  • Interested in learning more about how you can make a difference in your own community?

Let's take a look at what you can do!

Participation is the act of taking part in something.

It is the responsibility of a citizen to participate in his or her community.

  • Why?

Because everything you do, big or small, can make a difference to someone else, the community, the nation, and the world!

In this lesson, you will learn about how people get involved in effecting change in their communities.

Citizens of the United States have responsibilities. Those responsibilities range from respecting and obeying laws to paying taxing to participating in the community.

Let's focus on why participation in your local community is important, and how you can participate!

Visit the following link to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to view the rights and responsibilities of being a United States citizen: Citizenship Rights and Responsibilities.

Watch the following videos about civic engagement: Civic Engagement 101 (MetroEast Community Media) and Sparking Civic Engagement by Building in Public Spaces (Edutopia).

Think about the following questions and take notes as you work through taking civic action by participating in your local community:

  • What are the responsibilities of citizens?
  • What is civic life? What is civic action?
  • What specific actions can citizens take to participate in their local communities? What are some examples of civic engagement?
  • What can you do to take action in your local community?
  • Why is taking action and participating in your community important?

  1. Look through the newspaper or online to find articles about a person or organization changing the community.
  2. Choose the article that you find most interesting.
  3. Summarize the information in the article. Answer the following questions in the paragraph, then share the paragraph with a friend, family member, or teacher:
    • Who is the person or organization?
    • What action is the person or organization taking to change the community?
    • Where is the change happening?
    • How is the person's or organization’s participation making a difference?

Now that you understand the importance of taking action, continue on to the Got It? section to see what you can do!

Elephango's Philosophy

We help prepare learners for a future that cannot yet be defined. They must be ready for change, willing to learn and able to think critically. Elephango is designed to create lifelong learners who are ready for that rapidly changing future.