March 27, 2015

Survey Your Community About Issues That Matter Using the Eco-Survey

In the Eco-Survey activity, kids explore how people's personal values shape where they stand on issues and what actions they will take. Kids investigate and evaluate community members' attitudes about community issues. The activity shows kids that issue investigation should be done to help them take action on local (or global) issues.

Tell the kids they'll explore how to find out other people's views on issues. Have them choose an issue to focus on using a survey. For example, your group could survey people on wetlands, forests, parks or recycling, or on what young people in the community most need.

After the kids have chosen an issue, download and give each of them a copy of the "Eco-Survey Sheet" and have them decide on the exact wording of the survey questions. Also ask them to add any questions they feel might be helpful.

Once the kids have agreed on all their survey questions, have them practice reading the questions to each other and recording their responses.

As a group, decide on the best way to conduct the survey. For example, if your group wants to find out how people in the community feel about their issue, they might want to spend an hour or two interviewing people in different areas of a shopping district or mall, a community center, a YMCA or YWCA, faith-based environment or other public area. Or they could go door-to-door in various parts of the community. If they're interested in the responses of their classmates, they might want to conduct the survey during the lunch period of a school day.

Make multiple copies of the final survey and give them to the kids along with clipboards, pencils and nametags. Have the kids conduct the survey.

After the survey, have the kids get together to tally their results and talk over what they learned in this activity. Then, have them decide what they can do to make an impact on the issue.

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