Service Learning

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To motivate students to engage in service-based projects to alleviate needs in their community. 

The estimated time for this activity is 30-45 minutes.

Stop & Think

Key: T — Teachers, SL — School Leaders, DL — District Leaders

On page 23 of the NYSED’s Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education Framework, a student expectation bullet states: “actively engage in service learning opportunities, when available, to expand learning beyond the classroom. Encourage peers to collaborate with you in these learning opportunities.” 

In this Edutopia video, Community Projects: Hands-on Learning with a Purpose, Tate’s peers band together to create a vehicle for him to easily navigate through the campus. 

Community Projects: Hands-on Learning with a Purpose

  • How can you help curate a remote and hybrid learning environment that is aware of and receptive to the needs of the community? (T, SL, DL)
  • How might you translate the messages here to a remote/hybrid learning environment? (T, SL)
  • How can you gauge your students’ role and experiences within their communities? (T, SL) 
  • What are some ways you can help your remote and hybrid students gauge the needs of their community both in and out of school? (T) 
  • How can you create opportunities for students to engage in service-based learning within your content? (T) 

Brainstorm & Design

Take a look at an upcoming learning unit within your content area. Where might there be opportunities to embed service-based learning for your remote and hybrid learners? How will you help students assess the needs of their community? What structures can you put in place for them to collaborate and brainstorm ideas?

Examples from IDE Corp.’s MyQPortal:

Breaking Down Barriers

Bullying is a concern for many students, especially in middle school. The National Bullying Prevention Center has named October as Bullying Prevention Month and has established a contest, Students with Solutions, as a way to spread the message of unity. Students will explore the literary themes related to being an outsider and work together to create a submission for the National Bullying Prevention Center.

Charity Challenge

Your students can make a positive contribution to their community and learn about probability at the same time! In this PBL, students use the IDE Design Process to explore the qualities, revenues, and expenses of various charities. They develop multiple lottery-type games to explore probability. Then, as a group, students select one lottery-type game to use as a fundraiser for a selected charity.

Who Helps the Grownups?

Everyone can use a little help now and again. In this PBL, students work to determine if they live in an urban, suburban, or rural community. Then, they create a community guide to offer to new residents in which they identify common goods and services provided in the area as well as the benefits of buying locally. Not only do the students learn about goods and services, but they also provide a service to others.

Do We Have Enough?

Students will research the human impact on Earth’s land, water, and air. Throughout the unit, students will focus on human impact and create a persuasive presentation featuring a sustainability plan. Students will not only learn more about their own habits that affect the Earth and how to practice sustainability, but also what they can do to change the world around them to enhance sustainability and conservation.