In this class, students will have the chance to take on the role of activists/upstanders and will work in small groups to design a strategy to address a human rights issue in their local, national, or international community. This is an example of a service learning project.

Students will apply what they have learned from the project strategies and stories of MVP (such as community building, using resources that are readily available, creating solutions that the community can continue to sustain on their own, etc.) and incorporate elements from MVP’s sustainable solutions to design their own service learning project for their local, national, or international community.

Essential Questions

● Do we as individuals have the power to create change?

● What are some of the strategies we can design and implement to effect change?

Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

● Identify a human rights issue that they would like to see resolved

● Construct and design a strategy to transform the human rights issue

● Work collaboratively to map out their strategy, including tactics and roles

Common Core State Standards




MVP Glossary

Strategy: plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim.

Tactic: is a device for accomplishing an end.

Materials for Instructor

Sample of a Strategy Worksheets

Materials for Students

Strategy Worksheets

 I. Opening Discussion  (5 min.)

Explain to students that in this class they will be applying the knowledge they learned from MVP to design their own service learning project. Let them know that this is now their time to incorporate what they have learned from the MVP strategies to design a project that incorporates:

● Community building

● Utilizing resources that are readily available

● Creating solutions that the community can continue to sustain

II. Decide on Three to Five Issues (15 min.)

Tell students that in order to design their service learning project, the first thing they need to do is to choose three to five human rights issues they will address.

Step One

Ask students to share the issues they chose and wrote about in their MVP Journals. List them on the board. Samples of issues may include:

● Hunger (the specific target population included): Possibly a student shares the desire for free school lunches.

● Gender inequality: Possibly a student feels she would like to wear pants and not the school uniform.

● Gun violence: Possibly a student wants to create a campaign that includes writing to local and national politicians.

● Bullying: Possibly a student would like to address issues of bullying in the school community.

Step Two

Depending on the number of issues chosen, during this step students will choose three to five issues the class will focus on. Choose a way to limit the choices that best suits your classroom. For example, it can be done within an overall classroom discussion or you can have a class vote.

Step Three

Divide the class into working groups; three to five students per group.

III.  Identify Tactics & Begin Project Design (15 min.)

Step One

Let students know that in order to implement change we need to utilize tactics in our design to reach our project objectives. Go over to the MVP Glossary Board and define strategy and tactic.

Step Two

● Let students know that they already identified useful tactics in their MVP self-reflection writing when they were asked to list different methods that can support their project’s desired goal.

● Ask students to look back at their journal entry and have them popcorn tactics they wrote. Write them on the board. Examples may include:

○ Build a campaign.

■ Create public awareness through social media, posters, etc.

■ Gather like-minded people.

○ Hold a town hall debate.

■ Create space for people who have different perspectives to share their opinions.

■ Invite the community to participate.

○ Connect with existing activists/upstanders.

■ Contact a non-profit advocacy organization or group who is working on the same issue & find out what projects they may have going on.

■ Learn more about the non-profit’s work.

■ Find out if you can volunteer, or something more.

Step Three

● One by one, project the sample strategies, Step One, Step Two, and Step Three on the board.

● Lead students through the sample strategy workshops.

Step Four

● Gather into the designated groups and fill out the blank sheets of the strategy design.

Teacher and Class Decisions

Depending on how much time can be allocated to the service project, there are several options:

1.     Students do not implement the projects but only present their designs. Even though they have not experienced the manifestation of the project, they now have the tools to build other projects in the future.

2.      Set up a network for students to implement the projects in the school community or local community.

3.     Design a different ending to the project with the students themselves.


Regardless of the outcome, make sure students have a platform to share their ideas. Their ideas can be archived in a student newsletter, and it can include photos and even video of their collaborations.