The teacher assures that activities are structured in ways that promote learning, monitors student activities, and facilitates students’ reflection and analysis of their experiences.
However, all adult functions should be performed in a manner that is appropriate for the age of the children, and should, as much as possible, encourage student autonomy and creativity.
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.
Lay out a realistic timeline for getting the work done, and set milestones for intermediate goals.
The timeline should show when the class expects to finish each step, as well as when they will accomplish the major goals.Projects like these connect the students more deeply to their communities and help the community at large to maintain a sense of history and identity.Other good service learning activites involve students helping other students through student mentoring and peer or cross-age tutoring.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.But more often it starts with a teacher who brings up a subject in class, gets the kids percolating on it, and then suggests that they do something about it. Encourage them to build on each other’s ideas, to be spontaneous, to take risks, to think creatively.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).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.There are many advantages to this approach, including: In addition to academic content, students learn a range of valuable practical skills including: problem solving, organizing, collaborating, project management, research, dealing with obstacles and setbacks, etc.There are many different kinds of service learning projects for all age levels.