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!

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Participation — that’s what’s gonna save the human race.

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

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.

Take a look at these official Citizenship Responsibilities from the U.S. government.

  • Support and defend the Constitution.
  • Stay informed of the issues affecting your community.
  • Participate in the democratic process.
  • Respect and obey federal, state, and local laws.
  • Respect the rights, beliefs, and opinions of others.
  • Participate in your local community.
  • Pay income and other taxes honestly, and on time, to federal, state, and local authorities. Serve on a jury when called upon.
  • Defend the country if the need should arise.

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

As you watch the videos below, think about the following questions and take notes on how best to take 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?

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  • Were you able to find answers to all the questions?


Next, find an example of civic duty in your community. Follow these steps.

  1. Look through the newspaper or online to find articles about a person or organization changing the community.
  1. Choose the article that you find most interesting.
  1. Write a paragraph summarizing the information in the article. Answer the following questions in your summary.
  • 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?
  1. Then, share your paragraph with someone.

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

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