Mary C. Elmore
The fourth phase of the curriculum unit requires my students to think about the essential question: How might I function as an individual within my community? My children will be asked to use any and all of the written pieces they have created thus far to come up with one service initiative, which will inform the class of how they intend to function as a member of the community.
Lesson 1: Reading Accounts of Kids who have Served their Communities
Students engage in reading texts like Community Helpers from A to Z by Bobbie Kalman and Niki Walker and read articles like "The Service Effect: How Helping The Community Develops Strong Leadership" by Darian Smith and "Community = Happy" by Ashleigh Haynes, "The Girl Who Planted Hope: How Do I Make A Difference In My Community?" by Layla Akay and "YOU Can Change THE WORLD" by Phoebe Ducote, which offer real life examples of how children have made a difference within their communities in a variety of ways.
Lesson 2: Community Service
Students reflect on the articles they have read and come up with 5 possible service activities they could engage in to support their school or neighborhood communities. These activities can be focused on initiatives as simple and integral as improving communication and listening skills amongst each other and as involved as taking part in a community service project like a community garden, picking up litter in the neighborhood or raising money for a community cause. They are then placed strategically into groups of 3-4 and share their ideas. As a group they must narrow their scope down to one plan of action by way of assessing the project's necessity, practicality and anticipated impact on the community. Students will research and plan out how they will exact their plan of action and present their idea as a group to the class. Upon teacher approval, students engage in the activity for 1-2 weeks during which time they will keep a journal of their experiences and interactions with members of their community. At the end of this period of time, students present a poster advertisement persuading others to get involved in their cause.