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Identifying Community Stakeholders | ELA Community Activism PBL (Lesson 2 of 6) | 6-8, 9-10, 11-12

Student Objective

Students will be able to:
1. identify the community stakeholders for their community issue/topic/need/focus.
2. complete a rhetorical analysis to identify their product’s speaker, audience, message, form, purpose, and context.
3. select the best form for their product to take when presenting about their issue/topic/need/focus to their stakeholders.


Materials Needed: 


This instructional idea is the second in a six-part set that provides 6-12 ELA teachers with sample procedures and resources for implementing a community activism project-based learning project addressing the ISTE Student Standards. Throughout these six instructional ideas, students will identify a local community issue and community stakeholders, conduct research, synthesize and publish their research for an authentic audience, and seek feedback on their final product. 

In this part (2 of 6) of the project, students will identify the community stakeholders of their selected issue/topic/need/focus and select a final product form to best convey their research to their stakeholders through completing a rhetorical analysis.

For Teachers – Before the Lesson:

  • This lesson requires students to have knowledge of rhetoric, the rhetorical triangle, and rhetorical analysis. If your students are unfamiliar with these concepts, consider implementing the following: 
  • For this activity, students should be in the small groups formed during part 1 of 6 of this instructional set.

Step 1: Own-It 

  • Do a Think-Pair-Share on the following questions:
    • Part 1: Delivering Bad News
      • Imagine you are asked to deliver the bad news that you failed English class to a family member. What communication strategies might you use to convey this message? 
        • Strategies you might discuss with students: diction, tone, occasion/location/timing (strategically choosing when to deliver the bad news), etc. 
    • Part 2: Delivering Good News
      • Now imagine you’re speaking to the same family member, but need to deliver the good news of winning $100,000 in the lottery. What communication strategies might you use to convey this message? How do these strategies differ from when you delivered good news? 
    • Part 3: Changing your Audience
      • Now imagine you’re delivering the same sets of news to a stranger. How does this change your communication strategies for your message? 
    • Discussion takeaways: 
      • This thought experiment teaches us that a variety of factors impact how we communicate a message to our audience: the content of the message, who we are speaking to, the location or occasion, etc., all matter when thinking about the best way to deliver a message. 
    • Transition to Step 2: 
      • Today we’re going to apply this type of thinking, also known as rhetorical analysis, to identifying our project stakeholders, the best form to communicate our message, and the communication networks we should use to convey this message. 

Step 2: Learn-It 

  • Review the work students completed in Part 1 of this instructional idea set, i.e. their choice of a local community issue they can address through activism. 
  • Introduce the lesson vocabulary for the terms: 


    • Stakeholder: A person who has an interest or concern (“stake”) in something


    • Community Stakeholder: a person, group, organization, or business that has an interest or concern in the community. Stakeholders can affect or be affected by the community’s actions, objectives, and policies. 
  • Ask students to identify (or expand from the previous lesson) their community stakeholders and explain how they are affected by their chosen issue or topic of activism.  
  •  As students identify stakeholders, ask students to consider the following: 
    • What people or organizations in your community possess the power to affect change on this issue? 
    • Scaffold: If students are confused, provide them with an example. 
      • Example: Students might identify the local elementary school students as a stakeholder in the issue of uncleaned trash in their local park. A community stakeholder in a position of power for this problem might be the local Parks and Recreation Department, which has the “power” to allocate resources to solving the problem. 
  • Finally, ask students to consider a stakeholder in a position of power as the person or organization to whom they will present their final product. Ask students to answer 2c on the ELA Community Activism PBL Project Planning  
    • To whom will you present your research findings for this project? What real-world audience has a stake in this community issue/topic/need/focus? 

Step 3: Rhetorical Analysis 

  • Say: “At this point you should have identified a stakeholder in a position of power for your topic of community activism. The final step is to determine the best FORM in which to present your research around this topic to your stakeholder. To determine this, we’re going to complete a rhetorical analysis.”
    • For this step, students should complete 2d in the document: ELA Community Activism PBL Project Planning.  
      • For resources about rhetorical analysis, see the “materials” section above. 
    • Scaffold: Ask one small group to volunteer their topic and stakeholder. Walk the class through a rhetorical analysis using this group’s example. 
  • Encourage students to “think outside the box” in choosing the best form for their final product. 
    • Students should complete 2e in the document: ELA Community Activism PBL Project Planning.  
    • Given their community issue and the message they want to convey, ask students to identify the most appropriate form for their final product to take. 
      • Scaffold: Ask students to do a Google Search of their chosen stakeholder and identify the forms of communication visible on their website or social media. (Students might find photos, flyers, infographics, videos, academic papers, news articles, etc.) 
  • Finally, ask students: “What networks and/or forums of communication are most appropriate to share your final product?”
    • Provide an example: For example, should you share your final product on social media by tweeting it at your stakeholder? Should you send your final product in the form of a letter to your local governing body? Brainstorm some ideas below). 
    • Ask students to record their responses in section 2f of For example, should you share your final product on social media by tweeting it at your stakeholder? Should you send your final product in the form of a letter to your local governing body? Brainstorm some ideas below). 

Step 4: Share-It

  • After all students have completed their rhetorical analysis, ask for each group to share their final product form and reasoning.
    • After each group shares, ask for 2-3 points of praise, questions, or opportunities for improvement from the class. 
    • Encourage students to modify or change their product choice as a result of this share out. 


This instructional idea requires students to identify the stakeholders and audience for a locally-based community activism project by completing a rhetorical analysis for their future product in which they determine their product’s form, purpose, message, and context. Students will also identify networks for connecting with their stakeholders.

EdTech used in this activity:

Google Docs

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