In this two-part challenge, students apply their understanding of the positive interactions that contribute to a harmonious and supportive community. Review with students what makes a "quality" positive interaction (for example, smiling while working together, a group of people working together rather than working without any contact). Select a picture book that features a family or community situation. (Many of the books in the Franklin series contain examples of positive and negative interactions.) Before reading the story aloud, show students key illustrations, inviting them to describe what they see (people, places, things and activities). Read the story and ask students to identify any new information. Invite students to decide whether or not the actions indicate that the group is a supportive community (e.g., interacting in ways that contribute to each others' needs) and to identify the benefits of cooperation and the drawbacks of uncooperative behaviour. See Recognizing a Supportive Community (Modelling the Tools) for detailed suggestions on how to teach and assess the tools for identifying a supportive community.
Using a local or regional newspaper as a source, provide students with pictures or oral descriptions of positive and negative interactions within their own community (e.g., people working together to reduce pollution, raising money for a community project, damaging a local park). Invite students to decide whether or not the actions indicate that the group is interacting in ways that contribute to each others' needs and to identify the benefits or drawbacks of each interaction.
As an extension, invite students to watch for examples of positive interactions as they walk home or go about the community. If available, arrange opportunities through class visits or view video footage of local community events where students can encounter examples of different cultural and linguistic groups cooperating with one another and contributing to the broader community. Discuss how these actions contribute to the growth and vitality of the community.
After assembling a list of examples of many positive interactions among community members, ask each student to choose the three actions from the list that contribute most to the wellbeing and vitality of the community.