Changing the World through your Community

Students in April Riser’s 9th grade World Literature course usually have difficulty relating to the subject matter of ancient texts. This year was different. Students were asked to be inspired by the heroic actions of these texts to identify a world concern and propose action to address that concern. For instance, students have researched the impact of arts on young people and learning and are advocating to the school board for more funding for arts in the school system. Other students are raising awareness about access to clean water by getting pledges for steps they take. The money they raise will be used to buy a share in a well in a developing country. Students are also developing project at the school level revolving around bullying and empowering girls, poverty and how it impacts are students. Students are planning on building benches, painting murals and writing grants for longer-term changes.

Learn more about how Ms. Riser structured her project and what the students are up to: Ms. Riser’s Website and Student Websites.

Cohort Member: April Riser

Students: 9th grade World Literature students at Minnie Howard Campus, TC Williams High School

Essential Questions

How are we connected to others?
To what extent can reading great literature give us insight into ourselves and the world?
How can great literature give us insight into the civilization that gave birth to it?
To what extent can literature be considered morally constructive?


Writing 9.6 The student will develop narrative, expository, and persuasive writings for a variety of audiences and purposes.
a) Generate, gather, and organize ideas for writing.
b) Plan and organize writing to address a specific audience and purpose.
c) Communicate clearly the purpose of the writing using a thesis statement where appropriate.
d) Write clear, varied sentences using specific vocabulary and information.
e) Elaborate ideas clearly through word choice and vivid description.
f) Arrange paragraphs into a logical progression.
g) Use transitions between paragraphs and ideas.
h) Revise writing for clarity of content, accuracy and depth of information.
i) Use computer technology to plan, draft, revise, edit, and publish writing

Research 9.8 The student will use print, electronic databases, online resources, and other media to access information to create a research product.
a) Use technology as a tool for research to organize, evaluate, and communicate information.
b) Narrow the focus of a search.
c) Find, evaluate, and select appropriate sources to access information and answer questions.
d) Verify the validity and accuracy of all information.
e) Make sense of information gathered from diverse sources by identifying misconceptions, main and supporting ideas, conflicting information, point of view or bias.
f) Credit the sources of quoted, paraphrased, and summarized ideas.
g) Cite sources of information using a standard method of documentation such as that of the Modern Language Association (MLA) or the American Psychological Association (APA).
h) Define the meaning and consequences of plagiarism and follow ethical and legal guidelines for gathering and using information.