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Earth Force


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Social Studies, Civics, Health

Resource Types

  • Activity - Classroom
  • Videos, 3 minutes, 5 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Worksheets


Google Docs, Google Sheets, YouTube Video

Decide: Step 2 - Issue Selection

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  • In this activity, students work collaboratively to choose an environmental problem in the community that they want to solve.
  • This is designed to be Step 2 in a larger community-action and problem-solving process that helps students determine what they would like to work on.
Teaching Tips


  • The website for this activity includes a video showing students engaged in this process and several tools to help students with the selection process.

Additional Prerequisites

  • There is no lesson plan given for this activity, so you will need to construct one using the given resources.
  • Review the decision-making options ahead of time and either choose one for your students to use, or work with your students to pick one.


  • This resource can be helpful to students when learning how to work collaboratively, think critically, and evaluate a number of options or choices.
  • Younger students should be guided through the process, while older students could be grouped with assigned duties to carry out the process.
  • If doing the full process, be sure to have students continue to gather their work in a project portfolio for use in the final reflection in the last steps.
Scientist Notes
This is about a democratic means of selecting issues and prioritizing the ones relevant to study. This appears scientific using an issue selection grid (issue:criteria) method as it can be replicated elsewhere. There is no misconception, resource is valid and recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-3 Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Civics
      • D2.Civ.9.6-8 Compare deliberative processes used by a wide variety of groups in various settings.
      • D2.Civ.9.9-12 Use appropriate deliberative processes in multiple settings.
    • Dimension 4: Taking Informed Action
      • D4.6.6-8 Draw on multiple disciplinary lenses to analyze how a specific problem can manifest itself at local, regional, and global levels over time, identifying its characteristics and causes, and the challenges and opportunities faced by those trying to address the problem.
      • D4.8.6-8 Apply a range of deliberative and democratic procedures to make decisions and take action in their classrooms and schools, and in out-of-school civic contexts.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6.2 Interpret information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how it contributes to a topic, text, or issue under study.
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