Sharing the Beat

K, 1, 2

Students visit a local preschool or retirement facility of their choosing to read aloud a book they wrote and illustrated about generous giving. They share a drumming experience and give the drums and books as gifts. When they return to class, they reflect on the impact the experience had on them and the people they visited.

PrintOne 30-Minute Class Period, Plus time for a service-learning project

The learner will:

  • share a drumming performance with the group the class visits in the prearranged field trip.
  • read aloud to a friend the class book he or she illustrated.
  • give the book to the new friend.
  • give the drum to the new friend.
  • reflect on the impact of the service-learning project.
  • copy of a favorite class poem to read aloud (See Bibliographical References for ideas.)
  • completed class books
  • completed handmade drums
  • copy of  Handout One: Reflection Homework for each student
Teacher Preparation 

Prior to this day, arrange transportation and assistants, as needed, for the field trip. Students will bring their completed books and drums to the preschool or other facility the class chose in the first lesson. Arrange with the leader of the other facility how to match up students for the reading and gift exchange.

Home Connection 

Students take home their reflection pictures and share them with their families in order to talk about their service experience. Attach to each drawing a copy of Handout One: Reflection Homework that explains the assignment. A family member writes a brief response to the homework on the back of the drawing, and the student returns the drawing to school the next day.


Poems on the Internet:

Children's Poetry

Ken Nesbitt's "Funny Poems"

Story It: Children's Poetry

Favorite Collections of Poems for Children

Kennedy, Caroline. A Family of Poems: My Favorite Poetry for Children. Hyperion, 2005. ISBN: 978-0786851119

Prelutsky, Jack. Read Aloud Rhymes for the Very Young. Knopf, 1986. ISBN: 978-0394872186 

Silverstein, Shel. A Light in the Attic. HarperCollins, 2001. ISBN: 978-0066236179


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Read aloud a favorite class poem with expression and a clear voice. After reading, tell the students that when sharing literature or poetry with someone else, you read it so your expression shares part of the meaning with the words. Tell them that when they read their beautiful books with a new friend on the field trip, they will also read with meaningful expression. Encourage them to communicate the special meaning of the story with their words and their expression.

  2. Have students bring their drums and completed books on the prearranged field trip to another classroom or a retirement facility. On the field trip, they share a drumming presentation and then pair up with someone from the other class to share the book. After reading and talking about the book, they give the book and drum as a gift to the partner.

  3. Back at the classroom, reflect on the impact of the experience. Discuss the following: How did you feel about reading the story "The Drum" to a new friend? How did your new friend respond? What did you learn as we listened to, wrote, and shared this book with someone else? What do you think your friend learned? What would you do differently if we did another service for this school? What would you do the same?

  4. Have each student draw a picture of him or herself reading to his or her new friend. They may label the picture with words or sentences.

  5. For homework, students bring home their drawings along with Handout One: Reflection Homework so they can describe the experience to their families. See School/Home Connection.


Observe student engagement on the field trip and participation in the reflection to assess impact on the student.

Cross Curriculum 

The learners share their talents with another group, such as a Head Start preschool, who would benefit from literacy experience or social interaction. Each student shares his or her reading talent with an individual from the other group and gives the completed book and drum as a gift.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 03. Providing Service
      1. Benchmark E.1 Provide a needed service.
      2. Benchmark E.4 Demonstrate the skills needed for the successful performance of the volunteer job.
    2. Standard VS 05. Integrating the Service Experience into Learning
      1. Benchmark E.2 Evaluate progress on the service-learning project before, during, and after the project.
      2. Benchmark E.3 Identify outcomes from the service.