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The Just World Project

Project Overview:

The world we live in has many problems. One of the best ways to find solutions to these problems is to see what we want our world to look like. The project will consist of three main parts:

  1. Crafting a This I Believe Statement about what just means to them

  2. Creating a policy proposal in a small group of what their ideal just world will look like

  3. Developing a tangible plan to make San Diego more just

  4. Presenting your plan to local change makers

This project will culminate in a final exhibition of the students presenting in front of local change makers and receiving feedback on their ideal world.

Group roles:

In the small policy proposal groups, students will be assigned a specific role.

  1. Government 

    1. Students will be looking at a variety of ways that governments are set up. Throughout this process, students will be picking what government would work best for their ideal world. It might even be a new form of government. 

  2. Economics

    1. Students will be looking at the different ways that economies can work and pick which one they would like to use in their ideal world. 

  3. Protecting the people

    1. Students will be looking at ways to make sure that the people of their society are protected by the government and that their needs are heard and addressed. 

  4. Law Enforcement

    1. Students will be looking into how laws are enforced in their societies. 

Book Club Roles:

​​Summarizer: Your role is to open each book club meeting with a summary of the assigned reading. Your summary will help clarify the content that your group will discuss. This will be helpful for those students who have read ahead, and it will likely raise issues of interpretation and importance. Do not be afraid to raise questions and address sections that you did not understand.

  • Expected written work: A 1-page summary of the assigned reading


Discussion Director: Your role is to come to the book club meeting with a list of questions about the assigned reading. Your questions should be a mix of brief, clarifying questions and “big,” open-ended discussion questions. 

  • Expected written work: 10 typed questions. Link questions to specific parts of the book.

    • 3 brief clarifying questions

    • 3 “big” open-ended discussion questions

    • 3 Questions from the Literary Lenses handout

    • 1 Question about anything

  • Post discussion expectation: A paragraph summary of what the group discussed per question


Illuminator: Your role is to come to the book club meeting having selected 2-3 quotes or passages for the group to discuss. These sections could be ones that you find particularly interesting, confusing, thematically important, or otherwise significant. You should have an idea of what you would like the group to discuss about each quote and section.

  • Expected written work: Excerpts of at least three quotes or sections. For each quote or section, you should write a paragraph (4-6 sentences) about why you chose the quote or section and why you think it merits discussion.


Researcher: Your role is to investigate one to three details that will help your group understand the book’s background, content, or context. These could be technical terms, historical events, or places, to offer a few examples. You will present your findings to your group. Do not repeat topics.

  • Expected written work: A bullet point list +1-paragraph summary (per bullet point) of the content (in your own words!), with source(s) listed.

  • Post discussion expectation: Pick one thing from the book club discussion that needs to be clarified and find the answer.


Artful Artist: Your role is to draw a picture, flow chart, or any other graphic related to the reading. Ideally, it is based on one section or key idea. Show the graphic/image to your group and ask them to explain it/make guesses about what it represents. This should contribute to the group conversations.

  • Expected written work: A copy of your drawing/graphic with a paragraph explaining what inspired it and what it means.

Honors options:

  1. Students will design a poster for each group’s just worlds by consulting with each group and trying to create a poster that matches what that group is going for. 

  2. Students will look at current policies on a federal or state level and write a college level policy paper in response to that policy.

  3. Students will look into the Native American communities in San Diego, understand the history of how land was stolen from them, and how we can do reparations.

  4. Students will help Dylan coordinate with mentor organizations.

Project Launch Video!

In conjunction with this project, students will be placed in book clubs examining how just dystopian novels are and how each society justified their actions.

Book options:


Students will be placed in a book club with three other students. 

  1. Brave New World

  2. 1984

  3. The Handmaid’s Tale

  4. Divergent

  5. Uglies

  6. Ender’s Game

Key Learning Goals:
  • Students will understand that the best way to make the world a better place is to imaginer a world that doesn't exist yet

  • Students will know key facts about their focus topics: Government, Economy, Protecting the People, and Law Enforcement

  • Students will be able to write a policy paper.

  • Students will be able to articulate their ideas from the policy paper to an audience of change makers

  • Students will understand that systems are created intentionally and can be undone intentionally 

Common Core Standards:

Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.

Write arguments focused on discipline-specific content.

Write informative/explanatory texts, including the narration of historical events, scientific procedures/ experiments, or technical processes.

Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience.

Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology's capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically.

Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

Gather relevant information from multiple authoritative print and digital sources, using advanced searches effectively; assess the usefulness of each source in answering the research question; integrate information into the text selectively to maintain the flow of ideas, avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation.

Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

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