Teaching Students How to Be a Positive Influence


In his March column, Outstanding Young Educator Award winner Brad Kuntz says that by practicing meaningful community engagement, students can strengthen their writing, speaking, and thinking skills and learn how to have a positive influence on the world around them.

Writing arguments based on clear evidence is the first standard in the Common Core English language arts “Writing” strand for grades 6-12 (grades K-5 similarly focus on writing opinion pieces), and school- or community-wide issues like bullying or healthy lunch options are perfect opportunities for students to put these skills toward an authentic purpose. (Read Write Think blog has sample lessons on persuasive writing.)

Through the process of identifying, researching, and proposing solutions for community issues, students learn appropriate ways to collaborate with stakeholders and that engagement pays off.