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Lesson Plan

Workshop 1.2.3 Observe and Interact

How can we build empathy in our community? What does our community need?


  1. Warm Up Exercise – 10 mins
  2. Community Interview– 30mins+
  3. Debrief – 10 mins

Workshop Outcomes

  • Critical Thinking and Inquiry
  • Community culture and assets
  • Interviewing technique
  • Communication and listening
  • Develop empathy

Workshop Vocabulary

  • Assets
  • Needs
  • Values

Warm Up Exercise (10 Mins)

Customize a community building warm up activity for your group needs. You can consult the following resources for ideas:
Warm Ups in Design Thinking
Partners for Youth Empowerment
Icebreakers & Teambuilders
Inuit Games

Experiential Activity – Community Interview (30mins+)

Step 1. Review the Design Thinking Process.

Step 2. Interviews: Practice with a partner in class. Use the question starters if you need a hand. One person will
be the interviewer and one interviewee. Spend 10 minutes interviewing and then switch.

Step 3. Each group can choose a community member to interview to investigate what they feel would be most
needed in your community, and what they are passionate about. Determine what role will each member of
the group take on? interviewer, voice recording, photos, video, note taker?
You can also invite people to your class to engage in interviews in a more controlled and familiar

Step 4. Observation: Research more about your community by observing. Students can brainstorm or venture
into the community to record information about what community resources exist already. They can take
photos or notes to record their findings.

Step 5. Optional extension: Attend a community event. As a class participate in a community events. At the
event engage in some journalism by interviewing elders and local community members, and observing the
purpose of the event and how it is organised.

Step 6. Create a brainstorm MINDMAP with the class about your findings using the word “Community” at the
centre. Mindmap Instruction Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0lEj2d-ipE

Step 7. Create a blog entry or video to present your findings about your community. Include –
your community name, key features, assets, people, culture, strengths, any other considerations?

Debrief and Reflection (10 mins)

  1. What? What inspires us? What are we passionate about?
  2. So What? What are our unique skills and interests – What empowers us? What helps us be our best?
  3. Now what? What can people leverage to do great things?

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