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Class V Civics Action Project

What's in your inquiry journal?

Students will revisit and mine their current events entries  in their inquiry journals that were created throughout the year, as well as their current events inquiry logs for inspiration in choosing an area(s) of interest. When you look back at all the entries you have, what’s most interesting to you? What are three issues that connect to you or feel personal?  What are the issues that make you want to expand your understanding, issues you can explore different perspectives on, issues that continue to be important, issues that are calling you to action? In small groups, students will discuss:

  • Why is this issue important? Why does it resonate with me?
  • What kinds of information do I need to understand this topic better?

Digging into Explore

Using library databases (Opposing Viewpoints, NYT, Boston Globe, other local news sources, etc.), students will begin to independently read and explore widely for the purpose of adding to and deepening the information they have about their area of interest(s.) Students will paste links into their packet and should also download and save articles that might be useful to return to later in a designated folder in Google Drive. Students will:

  • Identify information that places their issue into a historical context
  • Seek  information that explores the issue from multiple perspectives 
  • Seek to expand their understanding of the issue (what additional aspects/considerations are related to this issue?)  
  • Identify who/what institutions/organizations have jurisdiction/influence with regard to the issue.
  • Explore who the stakeholders are with regard to this issue (who does it matter to?)

What's going on in Boston and Massachusetts?

Lateral reading may provide names of government agencies or nonprofits working on your issue.

Other strategies:

  • Visit the city of Boston's website to see which departments or agencies in our city address various issues and challenges.
  • Visit the Boston Public School's website for all its departments for background on school issues, curriculum, initiatives.
  • Visit the MBTA's website for information on the T, commuter rail, ferries, etc.
  • Visit the website for the commonwealth of Massachusetts to find the same for state-level government.
  • Browse Great Nonprofits to help you identify a nonprofit or advocacy group working on your issue.
  • Check out initiatives and campaigns already underway in Boston by visiting the sites in the chart below. 


Boston Alliance of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer Youth

Dorchester Bay Youth Force

Community organizing in Dorchester

Hyde Square Task Force

Connecting young people to Afro-Latin culture and heritage

ACE (Alternatives for Community and Environment)

Neighborhood-based environment justice 

Sociedad Latina

Celebrates diverse Latino heritages and enables young people to forge identities with deep roots in Latin culture

Bikes Not Bombs

Using bicycles as vehicles for social change

Artists for Humanity

Creativity and entrepreneurship for young adults

City Sprouts

Public school gardens

The Food Project

Building a sustainable food system in the greater Boston area

Boston Asian Youth Essential Service

Serving Asian youth

Chinese Progressive Association

Chinese Youth Initiative

Emerald Necklace Conservancy

Preserving and promoting use of Boston's city parks