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Synthesizing Research on a Community Issue | ELA Community Activism PBL (Lesson 4 of 6) | 6-8, 9-10, 11-12

Student Objective

Students will be able to:
1. identify the best-suited form of final product to convey their message about a community issue to a community stakeholder.
2. synthesize research to create an original product to convey their message about a community issue to a community stakeholder.


Materials Needed: 


This instructional idea is the fourth 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 (4 of 6) of the project, students will synthesize information from the sources they research in part 3 to create an original product for their chosen community stakeholder. This instructional idea will provide students with resources to develop a variety of products such as infographics, instructional videos, podcasts, narrated slide decks, etc.

For Teachers — Before the Lesson: 

  • This lesson requires students to synthesize information to create a product of their choosing. While the instructional ideas below do not explicitly outline an essay task, teachers may choose to include a synthesis essay task as a form of scaffolding or differentiation before students create the final product. See the linked resources about synthesis writing below for more information about this writing form. 

Step 1: Own-It

  • Ask students to connect to the previous instructional activity by doing a Think-Pair-Share on the following questions:
    • An “elevator pitch” is a short speech about an idea or topic that is short enough to present during a brief elevator ride. Think about your research from the previous lesson and deliver an “elevator pitch” to your partner that answers the following questions in 2 minutes or less: 
      • What is your community topic/issue and why is it important?
      • Who does your community topic/issue affect?
      • What is one interesting thing about your community topic/issue that you learned through your research? 
      • Who did you select as a community stakeholder? How are they impacted by your topic/issue?
      • What final product form did you select for your research? Why is this form well-suited for your community stakeholder? 
    • Students should refer to the information they recorded in ELA Community Activism PBL Project Planning to help answer these questions. 

Step 2: Learn It 

Step 3: Create It 

  • Say: “Now that we’ve clarified the synthesis task, it’s time to create your final product. Remember: the form of this product should align with the message you are sending to your community stakeholder. Ask yourself: what is the best or most effective way to convey my information to my community stakeholder?” 
    • Note: timing for this section of the instructional idea will vary. Use the knowledge of your own students to determine the amount of time they need to create an original product for this task. 




This instructional idea requires students to synthesize research about a community issue from multiple sources to create an original product to present to a community stakeholder.

EdTech used in this activity:

Google Docs

Alternative Ed Tech you could use:

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