One of my favorite lessons each year is one where our students compare our school neighborhood with the most wealthy section of Sacramento, the “Fabulous Forties.” I’ve written extensively about this lesson of highlighting assets instead of deficits in A Lesson Highlighting Community Assets — Not Deficits. I also have the complete lesson plan, including hand-outs, in my upcoming book.

I believe that every student I’ve ever had has decided that ours school neighborhood is better. One of the elements of the lesson is writing persuasive essays about which neighborhood is better. Here are a couple of examples from this year (we’re in the middle of the unit plan).

I’ll also be publishing a slideshow soon of student-designed “perfect” neighborhoods.