Who is My Community?

Objectives

  • To define your community
  • To recognize communities that you are and are not a part of

Materials

  • Whiteboard/chalkboard
  • Dry erase markers/chalk
  • Pens or pencils
  • Paper
  • Markers or crayons
  • Drawing paper
  • “Community Venn Diagram” handout (1 per participant)

Prepare Before

N/A


Warm Up

Ask the participants, “How do you define ‘community’? What community or communities do you think you are a part of?”

Experience

In groups of 3-6, have the participants go around and share their answers. Once they have shared, in a large group, have them discuss these questions:

  • What makes up a community?
  • Who is a part of a community?
  • Who decides who is part of a community?
  • Do you have to live in a community to be a part of it?
  • Who are the experts of the community?
  • Who decides when there is a problem ‘in the community’?

Reflect

Facilitate a discussion using the following reflection questions:

  • Have you ever experienced a time when you were clearly out of the community?  How could they tell?
  • How can you tell when you are in a community that is not your own?
  • What would someone need to know about a community in order to be a part of it?
  • When you first came to this school (or organization), did you feel like you were a part of the community?   When did you feel that this school (or organization) was “yours”?  What helped you to feel this way?

Summarize

Communities are defined in many ways by different people. Communities have unwritten rules and norms.  If you are not a member of that community, you may not know what the norms are for it. Just because a person may live in the same ‘community’ as another doesn’t mean that they will agree on the way in which the community needs development or progress, help, etc.

Demonstrate

Give each participant a Community Venn Diagram worksheet. They will use this to draw images of two communities that they are in. One should be their school if this activity is being done in a school. They should choose what the other community is and label it at the top of the other circle.

On the worksheet, they should draw pictures that show the differences and similarities of the two communities. Anything the two communities have in common should be drawn in the intersection of the two circles. Things that are unique to one community should be drawn in their individual circle.

Display all the community drawings as a gallery walk.

Have students look at all the drawings and look for connections between people’s drawings.

What do you see that is similar in this community compared to another? What seems positive about this community in the drawing?

What seems as if it needs improving about the community?