This lesson emphasizes that volunteering is the responsibility of citizens. Those contributions made by volunteers represent positive social action for the good of the community. While written for a Catholic Elementary School, this lesson may be easily adapted for public school use.
One Hour Class Period and One Half-Hour Class Period
The learner will:
- evaluate the importance of service to others.
- identify ways that volunteers help others.
Plan and carry out a class volunteer project.
Have the class sing the song “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” in a three-part round to demonstrate the fun in working together. Discuss how it went. What made the singing experience successful? Was it fun to work it out together? Tell the students that they can have a fun experience volunteering their time or talents together. Build up a volunteering spirit and enthusiasm.
The Volunteer Ideas Worksheet (Attachment One) may be used as an assessment as well as the essay describing the value and impact of volunteers.
Environmental Science: Just as people depend upon each other for help, everything in nature is interconnected. Play a game from Project WILD, called “Habitat Lap Sit,” to demonstrate how we all depend on one another. Go to www.projectwild.org to get more information about this project.
Or write to them: Project WILD, P.O. Box 18060, Boulder, CO 80308-8060
Phone: (303) 444-2390; Fax: (303) 444-2391
Several other sites have adapted this activity from the Project Wild curriculum. You can search for "Habitat Lap Sit" to get an explanation of the activity.
Lesson Developed By:Valerie Williams
Directions: Work with a partner and write down your ideas about problems or needs you have observed. Addressing one of these needs could become a volunteer project for the class.
Needs of kids at our school:
Things that need to be done around school:
Things that need to be done in our neighborhood:
Things that need to be done in our community:
There is a strong spirit of volunteering in America. Americans contribute more than a hundred billion dollars a year to charitable purposes. In addition to donating, tens of millions of Americans give time as volunteers in a variety of ways. People find the giving of their time, talent, and treasure to be a necessary part of being a caring citizen. Giving also just makes you feel good. Volunteers are people who care about others enough to set aside their own problems and take action.
Brian O’Connell is the former president of the Independent Sector, which is a national coalition for all voluntary nonprofit organizations. Mr. O’Connell classified the purposes of our giving and volunteering into nine categories:
-from Philanthropy in Action, The Foundation Center, 1987
"How wonderful it is that nobody needs to wait a single moment before starting to improve the world." Anne Frank
"You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have. Sadly, too often creativity is smothered rather than nurtured. There has to be a climate in which new ways of thinking, perceiving, questioning are encouraged. People also have to feel needed. Frequently, we just offer a job and ‘perks.’ We don’t always offer people a purpose. When people feel there is a purpose and that they’re needed, there’s not much else to do except let them do the work." Maya Angelou
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