Thirteen Ed Online
Lesson Plans
Design A Community Program
Overview Procedures for Teachers Organizers for Students

The PBS documentary A BROOKLYN FAMILY TALE follows a Sunset Park family and its connection with the Center for Family Life and Sister Geraldine in particular. Sister Geraldine insists that community programs should serve not to change the community, but rather to ferret out its strengths and make each member of the community be his or her best. In this lesson students will identify problems in communities in general and more specifically in the community where the school is located. They will then do research online and read about some available community programs. In cooperative groups, they will design a community program based on what they know or have learned about their community's problems and culture. Finally, students will be guided in writing a proposal letter for a community program. They will then address the proposal to the appropriate party.

Grade Level:
Grades 9-12

Time Allotment:
2-3 weeks (ten to fifteen 50-minute class periods)

Subject Matter:
Language Arts, Behavioral Studies

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • Read and understand the main idea of a short story.
  • Brainstorm a list of problems they see in their communities.
  • Read about community projects on the Internet and report to their cooperative groups.
  • Create a community project in cooperative groups.
  • Write a proposal for their community project in cooperative groups.
  • Use resources to find an appropriate party to send the proposal to.


BEHAVIORAL STUDIES Level 4, Standard 1, 20&StandardID=1
Understands that cultural beliefs strongly influence the values and behavior of the people who grow up in the culture, often without their being fully aware of it, and that people have different responses to these influences.

BEHAVIORAL STUDIES Level 4, Standard 9 20&StandardID=4
Understands how changes in social and political institutions (e.g., church, school, political party) both reflect and affect individuals' career choices, values, and significant actions.

LANGUAGE ARTS Reading Level 4, Standard 6 7&StandardID=5
Understands the philosophical assumptions and basic beliefs underlying an author's work (e.g., point of view, attitude, and values conveyed by specific language; clarity and consistency of political assumptions).

LANGUAGE ARTS Writing Level 4, Standard 1 7&StandardID=4
Uses appropriate research methodology (e.g., formulates questions and refines topics; develops a plan for research; organizes what is known about a topic; uses appropriate research methods, such as questionnaires, experiments, field studies; collects information to narrow and develop a topic and support a thesis).

This lesson was prepared by: Valerie Kelemen