Service Sparks: Listen with Generosity

Grade Level: 
K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Act of Generosity
Simple Safe Service
Ignite meaningful action that lights up the world through "Service Sparks" youth projects! Practice active listening that values another's experience.


Ignite meaningful action that lights up the world through "Service Sparks" youth projects!


Listening is an act of generosity. You have the ability to serve by listening. This service activity guides small groups to practice listening respectfully to another. First we learn some guidelines for listening and then talk about current issues, such as the loneliness, fear, and separation caused by recent events. This guide may be used by a family or small group.


Hold a guided discussion with any small group about finding common ground related to big ideas.  

  1. First, the facilitator gives some tips for effective listening. Talk about these suggestions for the listening activity:
  • Be curious.
  • Listen and try to understand the other person before telling how you think or feel.
  • Be open to people having different perspectives; be open to learning; be respectful.
  • Participate fully and honestly; be willing to share your stories.
  1. To hold a conversation about healing our shared community, use some or all of these discussion starters. Each person takes turns speaking and listening. 
  • Describe yourself in three words.
  • What values (honesty, caring, hard working, curiosity) do you think we all share (in our family or shared community)?
  • What is one way our community is hurting as we come out of the pandemic? How can we be more aware of the needs of others?
  • How can we know what hurts others are experiencing?
  • What does our world need to work more smoothly?
  1. Reflect on how the conversation went: 
  • What did you notice?
  • What do you wonder?
  • What does it feel like to listen?
  • What does it feel like to be heard? 

More Ideas

Literacy Connection: Read and discuss the book Ruby Finds a Worry by Tom Percival using this Learning to Give literature guide. Ruby discovers that everyone has worries and that listening to a friend helps them both shrink their worries.

Oral History Project: Create your own oral history recording by interviewing an individual about their stories of generosity. Follow these project directions to capture a story of someone you respect or a story of an exceptional person - elementary or secondary

Explore more Service Sparks projects:


Learning to Give ... 

  1. educates youth about philanthropy, the civil society sector, and the importance of giving their time, talent and treasure for the common good (knowledge),
  2. equips youth by encouraging philanthropic behavior and experience (skills), and,
  3. empowers youth to take voluntary citizen action for the common good in their classrooms, lives and communities (behavior).