Of course there are those magical moments when somebody walks into the classroom upset or inspired about something he/she saw in the newpaper or on television and feels a call to action. Please keep in mind that the steps given here assume you are starting from zero; you may not need to do all these things. Challenge the students to think of as many ideas as possible.
This could include a grant proposal, a business or organization in the community, or parent volunteers.This usually involves a good deal of collaboration and sharing of responsibilities.During the project, students should reflect on their experiences (see the section on reflection, next page).Documenting their activities is a good way to do that.It gives the students practice in describing and summarizing various aspects of the project, and in thinking critically about what and how they are doing.Some may be one-time activities, while others occupy the whole school year or longer.This can involve a study or an investigation, or simply a discussion that captures their imaginations. Hold a class brainstorming session to identify needs within the community or opportunities to do something beneficial.Service learning is neither an add-on nor a diversion from the curriculum.It is a powerful approach to teaching that provides kids with authentic learning experiences in which they learn academic content in a real-life, real-world context.A lot of them deal with community needs related to health, poverty, social issues, or the environment.Another popular kind of community-based activity involves the students in documenting local history or culture through interviews, archival research, and photography.