Introduction to Online Community Engagement Lesson Plan

Level: Grades 9 to 12

About the Author: Jessie Curell for MediaSmarts

Duration: 2 hours

This lesson is part of USE, UNDERSTAND & ENGAGE: A Digital Literacy Framework for Canadian Schools.


Students often feel detached from the political arena, and this lesson plan we have designed is to help inspire curiosity and action with your secondary students due to the very real connection between early civic engagement and citizens that are active and engaged with politics for their lifetime.

Students are introduced to civic education through a series of activities which will ask them to work together to engage with their larger communities through curiosity, conversation and creation. Current events happening at the neighbourhood, municipal or federal level will act as starting points for each activity.

This lesson is designed as part of the three-part series Creating Digital Content for Community Engagement, which includes:

However, each is also designed to be delivered as a standalone lesson and any two of the lessons can be taught together without the third.

Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  • in a group, learn how to research a current issue in their neighbourhood, community or country
  • as a group, brainstorm possible solutions to an issue and choose the best approach
  • learn how to effectively use the Internet as a research tool to determine the history of an issue, key players, and to assess the reliability of sources
  • present to a larger group a summary of the topic, issue and solution

This lesson and all associated documents (handouts, overheads, backgrounders) is available in an easy-print, pdf kit version.