Nominate an Ohio American Trustee Lesson Plan
Title: Nominate an Ohio American Trustee
Subject: Civic Education, Government
Topic: Forms of Participation
Grade Level: 9-12
Time: Five-six 45 minute class periods
Computer with internet access, external speakers, and a LCD projector OR access to a
computer lab with Internet access and headphones for each student
Updated Media Player recommended. Download QuickTime.
Notebook or paper
One Folder for each pair of students
Download Lesson Plan
1. define and discuss community leadership;
2. conduct library and internet research about a community leader;
3. write a research report; and
4. create a portfolio of the research process and reflection
Lesson 1: SETTING THE STAGE (Worksheet 1)
A) Previewing (15 minutes)
NOTE: This lesson is best suited for students with developed Internet research skills. If
students do not meet these criteria, the teacher should provide appropriate locally-
related materials. In other words, the teacher should select the research subjects for the
students to nominate and provide appropriate research materials.
1. Pass out the WORKSHEET to students. Read through the “Situation” section of the worksheet.
2. On WORKSHEET 1 have each student write down a definition for “community leader” using
the questions below as a guide
What is a community leader?
What are the common characteristics of a community leader?
3. Based on the answers that students have developed individually, initiate a class discussion
about community leadership. Document the student’s ideas on the chalkboard and leave up for
B) Viewing and Discussing (30 minutes)
1. As a class, view the brief videos about Amy Wong Mok, Barbara Brown, and Bernard
Rapoport, which can be found on the American Trustees DVD or accessed online at
http://communication.utexas.edu/strauss/at This viewing will take approximately eighteen
2. As students watch, ask students to compare and contrast the leaders shown in these videos.
3. Ask if the class if there are any additional characteristics or descriptors of a community leader
that were missed in the Preview discussion.
4. Using the Previewing activity, ask students if there are any additional, unique characteristics
that describe an American Trustee. After developing a common definition or list of
characteristics, proceed with the research project.
NOTE: Some additional characteristics of American Trustees might include:
create lasting, institutional change; and
contribute to the civic character of their communities.
Students are required to bring their worksheets with them every day. Depending on how
responsible the class is you might want to collect the worksheets each day at the end of the class
Lesson 2: APPLICATION (Worksheet 2)
A) Brainstorming (30 minutes)
NOTE: This brainstorming session will be used to prepare students for the initial
1. Break students into pairs. They will be working in this pairing through out the research
project. This may be decided by the teacher or by the students themselves, depending on class
dynamics. Each team will brainstorm and note their ideas on page 2 of the worksheet. They
need to note their own ideas as well as their teammates. Ask the groups to brainstorm the
Possible Trustees: Have students think about hypothetical American Trustees. They
probably won’t know any one by name but have them think about community leaders in
a more nonspecific way. Mayor, City Council members, City Manager, Newspaper
Editors, Rotary Club Presidents, or Chamber of Commerce President.
Resources for Research: Research sources where they might look to identify community
leaders. Ask students to be as specific as possible and whenever possible identifying
specific useful titles.
Research Topics: In anticipation of a trip to the computer lab and library research,
instruct students to brainstorm a list of computer searches or keywords that will be
useful for research purposes
2. After 10-15 minutes, bring students back together as a class to share their findings. Ask
students to share their best ideas from each section – research for resources, research topics,
and possible American Trustees. Students should take notes during the discussion.
NOTE: Appropriate resources might include Who’s Who in America lists, your local
newspaper(s), specific search engines such as Google, Bing, and/or Ask Jeeves,
telephone calls to the newspaper Editors. Appropriate search terms might include
“community leaders,” “activist,” “your city + hero.” Appropriate “Possible Trustees” might
include the Mayor, City Council members, City Manager, Newspaper Editors, Rotary
Club Presidents, or Chamber of Commerce President.
B) Previewing searches and sites (15 minutes)
1. Review some website search engines and appropriate resources to give the students a sense
of what to do when they begin their initial searches. Here are some useful sites:
Leadership Ohio: http://www.leadershipohio.org/index.html
Women for Economic and Leadership http://www.weldoh.org/
Ohio Historical Society: http://www.ohiohistory.org/kid#
Ohio Memory: http://www.ohiomemory.org/
Lesson 3: RESEARCH/PHASE 1 (Worksheet 3)
1. The research of this project will be conducted in two phases. During phase one, the students
will be trying to identify a short list of possible candidates to nominate. In the second phase, the
students will have decided on one American Trustee and they will research that person.
2. For the first round of research the pairs will split up. One person will go to the computer lab
and the other to the library. Students must take page 1 and 2 of their worksheets with them to
their research destination.
3. During this class period, students should create a short list of possible American Trustees that
they might like to nominate on the American Trustees website.
NOTE: Depending on the students’ computer literacy and internet search competency, you may
want to utilize the resources on the Interactive Demonstrations site from Colorado State
University at http://writing.colostate.edu/
4. Students need to come back together in their pairs to decide on one American Trustee that
they would like to research. Give them approximately 20 minutes to come to consensus.
5. As a guide for the discussion, write these questions the blackboard. And ask students to
discuss them as American Trustees are suggested.
Why is this person an American Trustee?
Do they meet the criteria? (Does their story inspire others?, Has their work created a
lasting or institutional change?, Do they contribute to the civic character of their
Lesson 4: RESEARCH/PHASE II (Worksheet 4)
1. After each team has selected an American Trustee, it is time to start researching the chosen
person. This time have the students switch, the student that didn’t get to go to the library will
now go and vice versa.
2. This time have the students switch, the student that didn’t get to go to the library will now go
and vice versa.
3. Again, the groups should convene to share their research findings with one another. Now the
group will work together to put together a mini-portfolio to present their American Trustee.
Lesson 5: PREPARING THE NOMINATION (Worksheet 5)
1. The students then need to prepare the actual nomination form.
2. Now the pairs will go the computer lab and use their research to compile the nomination
form. First, they should compile the text they will use for each answer, and then go online
to complete and submit the form. Have the students submit their nomination:
NOTE: Depending on how much guidance the class needs to complete a writing
assignment, you might opt to write additional questions on the blackboard to guide the
Lesson 6 (optional in-class activity): REFLECTION (45 minutes)
1. After students have returned to the classroom and they have completed their nomination on
their Ohio American Trustee, have each student individually write a reflection about what they
learned from their trustee and the research experience.
2. Students should spend the remainder of the class period compiling their mini-portfolio which
includes all 5 worksheets, a report on their Ohio American Trustee, and their reflection piece.
Students should be instructed to create a report on their American Trustee, transforming
the form into a full written report. For the report, the students should extend beyond just
the information from the form and include more biographical information as well about
their Ohio American Trustee.
Optional Extension Activity
Have students give a 1-2 minute class presentation on their Trustee.
Have students interview their Trustee.
Invite nominated Trustees to class to discuss citizenship.
Create your own American Trustee videos of your nominated Trustee.
Students may be assessed on:
1. the Mini Portfolio, which should include both students’ WORKSHEETS, reflection pieces, and
one research report about their American Trustee;
2. their research skills;
3. completion of the online nomination process; and
4. their participation in class discussion about community leadership.