Big Idea: Community

Nov 25, 2018

Community Picture

Our future depends on creating caring, responsible and active communities. Prosperous communities depend on individual understanding, commitment, responsibility, and action. Developing learners with these qualities and behaviors is a critical role for our educational systems.

This challenge provides an opportunity to actively explore communities, learn deeply about them, and learn how to take action to improve them. Share your stories and solutions at #challengebasedlearning and #challengeforchange.


Big Idea: Community
Essential Question: How can we have a positive impact on our communities while learning?
Challenge: Create a positive and measurable change in your community!


Sample Guiding Questions

These are only example questions. We encourage you to ask as many personal and contextual questions as possible. For help with developing quality questions check out this resource.

  1. What is the definition of community?
  2. Who defines communities?
  3. Why is community Important?
  4. What is my role in the community?
  5. How does community impact me?
  6. Who is our community?
  7. Who are the leaders?
  8. Where are there issues?
  9. Who is currently working to solve problems?
  10. What are the opportunities for improvement?
  11. Who can we network with to learn more about our community?
  12. What are the responsibilities of an individual in a community?
  13. Etc.

*Once you brainstorm all of the questions organize and prioritize them.

Guiding Activities and Resources
These are only a set of example activities and resources. The learners will need to evaluate the quality and applicability of the content. They are just meant to serve as examples. The ones that you choose should be in direct relationship to your specific guiding questions and context. Activities and resources for adults, adolescents, and younger children will be different. The goal is to develop solutions that mean something in your community and are sustainable.

Example Activities

  1. Explore the definitions of “community” and “impact”.
  2. Tour the neighborhood around the school
  3. Create a photographic essay of your community.
  4. Ask community leaders to speak in class.
  5. Attend community leadership events.
  6. The #1 success skill is learning how to learn.
  7. Explore what issues the organizations address and how they connect and overlap.
  8. Explore and then compare statistics of your community with those of similar communities.
  9. Develop descriptions of the different people in your community.
  10. Etc.

Example Resources

  1. Apple Discussion Guide
  2. Community Study Project 
  3. How Communities Work Together
  4. Understanding and Describing the community
  5. The Community Toolbox
  6. Community Action Partnership
  7. Windward School Challenges.


Using the research findings from your Investigations develop a synthesis that demonstrates a clear understanding of the challenge. For help with creating a synthesis explore this resource.


Solution Prototypes – Using your research synthesis create multiple ideas for solutions and review each one to make sure your research supports it. Share the prototypes with various stakeholders and get feedback.

Solution – with the feedback from the stakeholders develop one solution that has the most potential for success.

Implement – Develop a plan to implement the solution with the stakeholders and collect data about the impact.

Evaluate – Using quantitative and qualitative measures determine if the solution is valid and what can be improved.


Throughout the experience take time to document the events and reflect on what is happening to build on prior knowledge and identify future questions.

Share what you learned with your local community and the world. Use #CBLWorld on social media.