Digital Empowerment Module

Lesson 1: Advocacy and Making Change

Before you start the lesson, make sure to read through the lesson overview and the lesson preparation. The Facilitator Guide can also help you prepare.

Lesson Overview

Lesson Preparation

Begin Lesson

Begin Lesson

What is Advocacy?

Part 1


There are many aspects of our communities and surroundings that we appreciate. Maybe we are grateful for our friends. It could be that we enjoy getting to play on a particular sports team. Perhaps we love having the opportunity to listen to new music from artists we like.

However, sometimes there are aspects of our community that don’t sit well with us. Maybe the school just put a new dress code in place, requiring expensive clothes that we cannot afford. Perhaps an elected politician is trying to create laws that don’t consider our needs. It’s possible that the transportation options where we live are not designed to take us to the places that we need to go.

Let’s say you noticed that you had to take several buses and then take a long walk to reach the nearest supermarket.

  • How might you try to change that?
  • Are there individuals you might reach out to who can help you?
  • Maybe you have friends who experience some of the same problems as you. How might you all stand up for yourselves?
Teacher's Note
The example above can be localized based on your student’s experience and local context. The goal of this example is for students to recognize what advocacy is and how they might use it in their lives by identifying a local challenge that they can solve.

Part 2


In these kinds of situations, we often feel like things might be better if we were able to change what bothers us. This desire to stick up for causes that you believe in and create change is called being an “advocate.”

Teacher's Note
On a projection screen at the front of the room, review a website used for advocacy that is relevant to your region. Highlight how the form of advocacy depicted in it began by people, often youth, who realized there was a problem affecting their community and wanted to do something to try to change it. Some global examples include Greta Thunberg, Global Voices, Greenpeace, and World Wildlife Fund.

Now we are going to identify one issue in your community that you’re passionate about and some next steps you and the community might take to solve a problem.


Split students into groups of three. Give each group time in the current session and at least two full days to 1) research a problem impacting their community, identifying at least two ways the issue is affecting their community and two ways to potentially solve the problem, and 2) develop a poster that provides information on the identified issue and potential solutions that they will present to the larger group as part of a “gallery walk.”


In your groups:

  • Research and identify an aspect of your community (a “community” could be your school, neighborhood, or a local group you belong to) that you would like to change. You can talk to your friends, teachers, and/or family about things they would like to change or about the problems affecting them.
  • Create a poster. The posters created by each group will be hung on the wall and we will do a “gallery walk” together where each group will discuss the problem they identified and how to solve it.

Each group must identify at least two ways the issue is affecting their community and two potential ways to solve it.

Be creative: Take photos and paste them onto the poster (ideally, make sure students have access to a printer) to illustrate the problem and/or the solutions or use flowcharts, graphs, and charts to communicate the extent of the problem and/or the solutions.

Each poster should “stand-alone” — in other words, the poster should have enough information on it so that someone can view/read it and understand the issue and potential solutions without a group member’s explanation.


Give each group enough time to engage in research and develop their posters. Make sure that you are available for questions and technical support. When the larger group reconvenes, have students hang the posters on the wall, give the larger group 20 minutes to walk around and look at others’ posters, then allow about 30 minutes to have each smaller group present their poster to the larger group.

End Lesson

You've finished the lesson

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