Buzzing into the Community

K, 1, 2

Students build a positive relationship with a group of people outside the classroom (retirement community, hospital, daycare facility, another classroom, etc.) through performance and discussion about "believing in yourself."

PrintOne Forty-Five Minute Class Period plus a Visit to a Community Site and reflection time

The learner will:

  • perform the "Buzzy the Bumblebee" song.
  • read a favorite book with a buddy from the other group.
  • discuss things he/she and his/her buddies are good at.
  • create thank-you note or poster.
  • reflect on service-learning experience through class discussion.
  • Buzzy the Bumblebee book as reference or read-aloud to all
  • Bee headbands
  • Copies of students’ favorite books 
  • Poster with the buddy procedure outlined on it
  • Crayons, colored pencils or markers
  • Materials for thank-you notes or thank-you poster
Teacher Preparation 

Be sure to prepare for this experience with the necessary steps (such as contacting the partner, get permission slips, transportation, etc.).

Home Connection 

Have students write about their service-learning experience in the form of a letter to parents, relatives or friends at home.


Brennan-Nelson, Denise. Buzzy the Bumblebee. Chelsea, MI: Sleeping Bear Press, 2003. ISBN: 1886947821


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Tell the students that they are going to meet with others (describe the group with whom they will be meeting) and teach them about Buzzy and the message of "believing in yourself." Discuss the message of Buzzy the Bumblebee and how and why they can build positive relationships with someone they don't know well.

  2. Prepare students for the experience by talking about the group (for example, discuss sensitivity issues related to the people in a retirement facility).

  3. Discuss appropriate "BEE-havior."

  4. Outline the procedure you have planned for them on a poster. (Or ask them to help you plan the procedure.) Walk through the steps in the classroom before visiting the other group.

    1. Students and buddies introduce themselves and decide how they should address each other.
    2. Students tell the buddy about the beginning, middle and ending of Buzzy the Bumblebee.
    3. Student and buddy talk about what it means to believe in yourself. Then, they talk about things they are each good at.
    4. Students share their favorite book with the buddy. Student can read to buddy, the buddy can read to student, or they can simply talk about the story.
  5. Practice the performance of the Buzzy song and have students pair up to practice the planned procedure.

  6. At the buddy site:

    1. Students wear their headbands and bring a favorite book to read together. 
    2. The teacher gives a brief introduction to audience. Explain who you are, state the goals of the meeting, display a prepared outline of the procedure, and then lead the students in singing the Buzzy song.
    3. Pair each student with community buddy. The students follow the planned procedure.
  7. Teacher: Thank the group for their participation and talk about future plans to get together, if applicable. Optional: share a snack/beverage with the other group.

  8. Upon Returning to School:

    1. Reflect on what happened in the buddy community. Ask students to tell in their own words what happened with their buddies. Ask students how it made them feel to perform their song for others and read, talk and interact with their buddies. Ask students to share stories of things they learned with their buddies.
    2. Discuss how students were making a better community during this buddy meeting. How did they use their time, talent and treasure in the community? Talk about how it made them feel. Did it increase their belief in themselves? Did it help their buddy feel better? 
  9. Work together to create thank-you notes (or a thank-you poster) to send to the place you visited.

Cross Curriculum 

Students establish a relationship with a group outside their classroom with whom they share their message of "believe in yourself." They make a presentation, read with a buddy from the other group, and talk about what they are each good at. Extend the relationship by planning some ongoing activities.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 02. Diverse Cultures
      1. Benchmark E.4 Demonstrate listening skills.
  2. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.5 Give examples of actions students can take to improve the common good and list or describe responsibilities that go with those actions.
  3. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 03. Providing Service
      1. Benchmark E.1 Provide a needed service.
      2. Benchmark E.3 Describe the task and the student role.
      3. Benchmark E.4 Demonstrate the skills needed for the successful performance of the volunteer job.
      4. Benchmark E.6 Describe the procedures and the importance of sensitivity to the people with whom students are working.