Make Your School Better

Try It

Ask the experts! No one knows better than your students how their learning environment could be improved. The Make Your School Better activity knocks it out of the park in so many areas: student choice, engagement, collaboration, presentation skills, authentic audience, and the list goes on. This project requires commitment from your school’s leadership to listen and act upon student recommendations. With that, the rest is easy. Students choose a topic, learn about advocacy, research their argument, collaborate with classmates, present to an authentic audience, participate in feedback sessions, and assist with any improvements to the school. Your school becomes a better place, and students lead the way while learning a variety of essential skills.

Discuss It

  • What did you learn from your students that will change the way you teach?
  • How was your students’ engagement level during this project, compared to the norm?
  • One of the recommendations is to do this project on a “no grade” basis. Students have a list of expectations / checkpoints and are motivated to succeed for their own sake and to impress their audience of parents, school leaders, and community members. Did you follow this recommendation? How did it work out?
  • What actually changed at your school as a result of this project, and how did your students react?

Go Deeper

  • How might you “take this to the next level” with your students? A presentation to your local school board? To your school district leaders? To begin a conversation with your Parent Teacher Organization?
  • One student comments, “This goes beyond school.” Could you try the “Make Your ___________ Better” model with your students in another setting? What might that be?