Service Learning Project BY: Kourtney oehm

Planning a school service learning project is very important for your students and teaches them leadership roles while learning about diversity. The first step is to give your students a voice. Ask your students what they are passionate about or what they feel is important in life. As i begin this lesson with my students i will have a discussion about the possible ideas we could do for our service learning project. It is important in this step to express the importance and purpose of doing this project.

Step two, is to decide on a project. With doing this, you could either have everyone write down their ideas on a paper and turn it in and choose the idea with the largest submissions or you could decide as a class or as a school what the best idea is. Lets say for example, my students decided to help out with the special education students or adults with special needs. Lets say we went to a care facility that helps people with special needs. This is the service project my class decided on.

When deciding on your project, keep in mind what is going to be useful and really make an impact on your students. Kidknits is a great organization and their website talks a lot about how they get their students out in the community and how it has personally affected their school, their students, and their faculty. Check out their website to see what they do, their lesson plans, and the impact they've made in their community.

This photo was found on the main page of their website.

Step three is very important because if you don't complete this step then you may not have a project. Step three, you need to reach out to the organization or facility you are wanting to work with. Once you get the approval, then you can continue your project.

Above, is the link to a facility near me called Big Lakes Developmental Center. This would be a great place to take my students because they get a lot of people who come in to help out and seeing new faces is always a joy. Big Lakes is able to provide services for people with developmental disabilities. You can also donate online by following this link.

Step four is to tie in the curriculum. Even though we discussed lightly in the beginning why a service project is not only important for the community, we need to now touch base on how it connects to the curriculum were learning about in class. For my lesson, i want to incorporate science and the water cycle and how it is needed for our environment. In the environment we live in today, there are crops, farms, and plants that need water to survive and stay healthy. Just like people who have special needs, they need caregivers to help them stay healthy. Some cannot physically care for themselves and it is important we help when we get a chance to.

Water is needed for plants to grow, Caregivers are needed for people with special needs to grow.

Our next step is to make sure we have all our materials provided for what we want to do. If the students want to create a fun day for them and play bingo and read to them or help them with reading, they need to bring the books and bingo cards, exc. If you were doing your lesson over picking up trash and recycling, then we would need to bring trash bags and recycle bins. For my lesson, i think it would be great to tie in my curriculum even more so. I want my students to grow a plant of their own with the water and seeds. I want them to pick a partner of someone at the facility.

To grow your own plant, it takes responsibility and knowledge.

This video will be shown to my class so they will properly know how to grow their own plants. I will provide all the materials needed and make sure we have them before our service project. This video is great for teaching the students because it is very fun, silly, and will keep my students engaged. Most of my students may already know how to grow their plant however, it is still good to show them this video so they can refresh their minds since they will be the ones teaching their partners.

Now that everything is prepared and ready in motion, we set a date and follow through. My students will show up and have around an hour to chat and discuss with everyone, get to know eachother. Then they will begin this project. They will need to get seeds, a pot, soil, and water and sun. The purpose of this lesson is for my students to not only be doing something within our lesson but to also guide their partner and help them through this assignment. Depending on the severity of the persons disability, more guiding may be needed. The purpose is that this should be a challenge and the students will see from another perspective in ways of teaching, and learning.

After our fun day at Big Lakes, i will create an assessment based on a reflection. I want the students thinking about what they thought going into it, how easy or difficult was it to keep their partner on track and to teach them, and how did this project impact or change your day? What did you learn about this project and would you do it again?


Created with images by USAG-Humphreys - "Family member shares artistic talents" • maxlkt - "hospice caring nursing" • stux - "culture of maize corn zea mays" • Maria Keays - "Strawberry plant" • tim.klapdor - "ConnectEd-Learning-Spheres"

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