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Student Projects

The Voice, HTMMA

Authors: Chris Baughman, Brady Philips, Vanessa Joy, Emily Carter

Grade: 6th

Subjects: Humanities, Math

Family together next to clipboard on table
Line of people in front of table full of supplies
Line of people in front of table full of supplies
Line of people in front of table full of supplies
Two students next to their exhibition table
Three students behind their exhibition table
Three students presenting in front of class
Students set up tables and shade structures at the beach
Students sitting in front of the Warner Administration Center at the San Diego Zoo
Six students standing in front of the Wounded Warrior Project office
Students meeting in a warehouse
Students holding their work in front of the United Way
Students helping out at Feeding America

After students explored a myriad of issues and challenges facing San Diego, students selected an issue for which they had a great passion or connection to. Through research and discovery, students understood their issue and found local organizations that help their issue. Students then worked to develop action plans with their groups and determine how they wanted to help. These actions often resulted in students reaching out to their communities through awareness campaigns, fundraising drives, presentations, etc. As these are authentic ways for students to present their work, there is no “formal” exhibition for this final project as each project got students out into our community working on real issues!

What issues and problems does San Diego and its people face? How can I use empathy and compassion to make a positive difference in my community?


Research cycle- sources and inquiry questions, reading and note-taking, synthesis of information; Persuasive techniques- logos, pathos, kairos, big names, call to action; the writing process- drafting, critique, revision


Reading non-fiction for understanding and analysis, uncovering important information to answer inquiry questions and to use for persuasion


Reading, understanding, and analyzing statistics, displaying data visually


Empathy, perspective taking, compassion

Week 1 ●      Directed learning about issues from animals, hunger and homelessness to veterans, the LGBTQ community, and refugee/immigrant issues.

●      1 minute pitch

Week 2 ●      The research cycle

●      Analyze relative statistics

Week 3 ●      Student and teacher interviews

●      Groups create action plans- what will they do to make a difference- fundraising, awareness, volunteering, and/or changing public policy

Week 4


●      Continue creating and begin enacting group action plans
Week 5


●      Continue creating and begin enacting group action plans
Week 6


●      Action Week/ Weekend

This is a project for which we are extremely proud. It really matches up with the gold standard of project based learning as students are dealing with challenges and problems that leaders in San Diego faced with as well. They are looking their own understanding of the issues and finding their own solutions to the issue. The Voice Project is the culminating project for the 6th grade year in which students use many of the skills they have learned throughout the year including the research cycle, the ability to report out information, persuasive writing and techniques, and understanding statistics. Most importantly, the final products are very public as the students are out in our community convincing people to help their cause. This is so powerful for 6th graders!

It felt good to help people! I liked that I got to pursue my passion and actually do something about it.