|| Lesson Plan:
Since 1973, Bill Mittlefehldt has worked at Anoka High School in Anoka,
Minnesota, teaching civics, economics, geography, American history, law,
futuristics, psychology, Western civilization, community service, applied
problem solving, environmental issues, and quality training. Prior to
Anoka, he taught for several years in Riverside, Illinois. Bill Mittlefehldt
has made numerous professional presentations at conferences and has published
several articles about his service-learning experiences in Anoka. He also
has been recognized with many awards, including having been twice nominated
for Minnesota Teacher of the Year. In the summer of 2000, Bill Mittlefehldt
and his daughter paddled for 65 days from Duluth to New York City, a distance
of 1,650 miles, to gather stories of civic and sustainable collaboration.
Bill Mittlefehldt holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Lawrence
University in Wisconsin, a Master of Arts in religious studies and a Master
of Divinity degree from the Chicago Theological Seminary, and a Master
of Arts in curriculum and instructional systems from the College of Education
at the University of Minnesota.
Anoka High School is the largest high school in the state of Minnesota.
Its current enrollment is about 3,300 students and it is still growing.
The school was recognized nationally as an Excellence in Action site in
Anoka is a suburban city of approximately 17,600 people, located at the
convergence of the Rum and Mississippi Rivers. The Rum River runs right
behind the school. The city is about 18 miles northwest of Minneapolis
and 25 miles from St. Paul. Anoka is located in one of the fastest-growing
counties in Minnesota with a population of over 270,000. The city was
originally a farm community and has maintained its historic downtown main
street. Around 1900, Anoka began to be swallowed up by the Minneapolis-St.
Paul metropolitan area.
Human Geography is a nine-week course that meets four times a week for
85 minutes per class period. It is a social studies elective for 11th-
and 12th-graders and includes students of all ability levels, including
students with special needs. The course curriculum has nine major units
and an applied civics project, which is the lesson focused upon in this
program. The focus of the course is on how people interact with the land,
the region, the culture, and the landscape over time. Students use maps
extensively to help understand the key components of change in their community.
The nine units are as follows: Geography and Human Geography; Maps, Perspectives,
and Technical Tools; Earth and Changing Geographic Environments; Human
Origins: Family Tree and Population; Civilization and Urbanization: Designs
for Living; Regional Issues and Environmental Stress: Air, Water, Land,
Biodiversity, Energy (AWLBE); Regional Issues, Environment, and AWLBE;
Sustainable Minnesota: Learning Our Way; and Sustainable U.S.: Learning
The Applied Civics Project, in which students identify and work on a
community issue related to what they are learning, also has a nine-week
sequence: Introduction to Task and Total Community Quality; Select Team,
Topic, and Partner; Research Team Topic: Begin Defining Problem; Research
Team Topic: Begin Articulating Solutions; Research Team Topic: Improve
Problem-Solution; Prepare for Presentation: Rehearse Teamwork for Presenting;
Final Class Presentation and Written Report.