Reporting on Community Helpers—--An ePals Project

In this project, students explore their communities and report on community helpers. They will share their stories through photos and text in PowerPoint presentations or short videos to exchange with ePals and upload to the ePals Media Gallery to share with students around the world.

Subjects: Social Studies

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In this project, students explore their communities and report on community helpers. They will share their stories through photos and text in PowerPoint presentations or short videos to exchange with ePals and upload to the ePals Media Gallery to share with students around the world.

Objectives and Standards

1. Students compose their own texts to report on the themes. They prepare questions and direct their own photo report.

2. Students practice communication skills, photography, writing and computing.

3. Students create a PowerPoint or video report with the collected material.


National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies

10: Civic Ideals and Practices


Common Core State ELA Standards

Speaking and Listening

SL-1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 4 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

SL-5. Add audio recordings and visual displays to presentations when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or themes.

Writing Standards

W-2 Write informative/ explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

W-6 With guidance and support from adults use technology to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others. (digital presentations)

W-7 Conduct short research projects that build knowledge about a topic; that build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic; use several sources, summarize or paraphrase information

W-8 Recall relevant information from experiences or gather information from print and digital sources, take notes, and organize information and evidence into categories.

The culminating project will be a PowerPoint presentation, or short video, which is both narrated and has a written script about community helpers. The presentation will include information gained from interviews and enhanced with photos or embedded within video footage of the helpers in action.


See this video for inspiration. This student-created video report, from the Little Photo Reporters project done by teacher Nathalie Langner, Mexico, shares information about a traditional bakery in the región of Zacatlán state of Puebla in Mexico: LOS NUEVOS REPORTEROS - Don Javier, la Panaderia de La Cumbre en Zacatlán 

1. Make a list of community helpers in your community. Discuss what it means to help in a community. Ask questions to encourage students to share who they think is a community helper. Generate a list of ideas and discuss how each person’s role contributes to the comfort, safety, and sustainability of their community. Together, organize the list into categories of kinds of helpers. Students choose one of the categories of community helpers and break into community helper interest groups.

2. Conduct Interviews Use the following prompts to guide students to write interviews for the helpers on their list: What do you want to find out about the helpers’ role? How can we learn more about what it is like to do these different jobs? How can we write questions to encourage the person we interview to share? Demonstrate the difference between a limited question answered in one-word, versus an open-ended question. Each group writes an interview of 5 to 7 questions. With adult assistance, children locate the names of people to interview on their list (one for each child), as well as brainstorm those working or volunteering at the school or in the neighborhood. (Teacher sends out a preliminary email, call, or visit to explain the project before children contact the helpers by email exchange or on site interviews.)

3. Revise and edit interview questions. Have students pretend to be the community helper and test out the interviews. Edit questions as needed to make them easy to understand and answer.

4. Share and Report Results. Interviews are possible in person, by phone, or by email. Notify parents and get approval for off-campus interview. Once completed, the group will synthesize information to communicate their findings into a summary report about their category of community helpers.

5. Video/ Photos The next step is to obtain photos or video of the community helpers in action. Students collect and create photos or video different aspects of their community helper category to complement the content of the interview report.

6. Share the Culminating Project Upload each groups culminating project to the ePals media gallery. Find out what other communities discovered by viewing the Community Helper Projects shared on the site.

Project Leader:

Subjects: Social Studies

# of Students: 21-30
Age Range: 8-10
Collaboration: Email Exchange, Skype / Video Chat
Languages: English

About my classroom: BF Yancey is a small, rural elementary school of approximately 150 students in grades pre-Kindergarten through Fifth, located in central Virginia, USA. We are interested in communicating with other students from as many countries as possible regarding your school lunch experience. Do students eat in a cafeteria or common space? What foods are eaten for lunch at school where you live? Is the lunchtime meal prepared by the school or do students bring their own food from home? Are the meals sourced from local farmers and providers? What are the components of your favorite school lunch? We are especially interested in collecting photos of school lunches from around the world! Currently, we prefer to correspond by email and Skype, and to write at least 2x per month. We look forward to meeting you and learning about the food culture of your area.