Solutions to Community Problems—Activity

It takes a village to solve community issues. This exercise features local topics and how students can work together to address them.

free activity, social emotional learning, second step

Grades K-5

Working together to understand and solve problems is a skill set students will use throughout their education and take into adulthood. This academic integration activity for upper elementary students gives them the opportunity to practice their problem solving and conflict resolution skills to address an issue affecting their own community.

Download and Print


Have your students divide themselves into groups of three or four. Have current newspapers, news magazines, and news websites available.


Have students work in groups and use the Problem-Solving Steps* to solve a problem occurring in one of their communities. If necessary, consult a local newspaper or news website. Examples of possible problems include:

• Conflict-resolution talks between countries

• Local election issues

• Playground conduct

• Classroom rules

Then each group should:

1. Determine the problem

2. Think of several possible solutions to the problem

3. Consider the consequences for each of their solutions

4. Pick the solution they think will work the best

5. Present their solution to the class


*This activity is adapted from the Second Step Program, Grade 5, Unit 3.


Like this activity?

We’re adding more FREE Second Step Program activities on our blog all the time. They’re easy to find—just visit

Learn more about social-emotional learning, research on the topic, and how it benefits students in the classroom, at home, and in their daily lives.