Prepare to Take Action!

9, 10, 11, 12
Students collaboratively choose a community health need to address, plan the logistics for their service project, and document their planning process.
PrintTwo 45-Minute Class Sessions, plus time for a project

Learners will:

  • work together to select a health need for one or more class service projects.
  • outline and plan their service project goals and procedures.
  • identify and create a list of needs.
  • identify steps necessary to complete the project.
  • hula-hoop
  • stopwatch or clock with a second hand
  • examples of Kids in Action (Handout)
  • student copies of IGNITE Book (Handout)
  • copy of Service Project Suggestions (Handout)
Teacher Preparation 

students may bring in a sample of a food to taste for the food critic activity from lesson two


Students maintain a journal and write their reflections after each session.


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    To promote and analyze the importance ofteamwork for the upcoming service project, play Hula-Hoop around the Loop. Students hold hands in a circle. Facilitator places a hula hoop around one pair of students’ held hands. When the facilitator says “go,” students move the hoop around the circle without letting go of hands. When the hoop has made a loop, record the time. Talk about what worked and didn’t work. Then have students play again, challenging them to better their time.

  2. Ask the following reflection questions:

    • What worked?
    • How did you help each other to get the hoop around?
    • Why was it important for everyone to cooperate to move the hoop?
  3. Based on the community health interests and exploration of community needs in the previous session, students respectfully share ideas and arguments for a service-learning project they can do together. They use the skills from the teamwork activity to effectively communicate and come to a decision. 

    Some of their project ideas may have attributes that present barriers. If a project requires transportation or money, can they overcome that barrier? Sending canned goods by mail is not a reasonable attribute, for example, but finding someone to teach them to sew might be no problem. 

  4. Show the IGNITE booklet to give students an idea of the steps involved in planning a service-learning project. This video is another good overview:

  5. Circle or star the three most important community needs they would like to address in one small way. By a show of hands, have students identify the topic they would most like to work on. Note: If two topics are equally popular, you may want to have the class work in two groups on two different projects, or present arguments and vote again.

  6. Students read the Kids in Action sample project. Ask the following reflection questions:

    • What was the project topic?
    • What resources did the kids need?
    • How did they organize the tasks and responsibilities?
    • How successful was the project?
    • What could they have done to be more successful?
    • What can we use from their experience as we develop our own service project? 
  7. Have students work together to brainstorm ways to address the chosen topic (advocacy, fundraising, volunteering, letter-writing, working with a community partner). You may want to refer to the Service Project Suggestions handout to spark discussion.

    • Is fundraising required? What can we do to raise money?
    • Will we need space for the event? If so, where?
    • Who will we need to contact or ask for permission?
    • About how much time will it take to plan and carry out?
    • What new expertise do we need and how do we get it?
    • How will we know if we are successful?

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 07. Skills of Civic Engagement
      1. Benchmark HS.1 Utilize the persuasive power of written or oral communication as an instrument of change in the community, nation or the world.
      2. Benchmark HS.2 Discuss a public policy issue affecting the common good and demonstrate respect and courtesy for differing opinions.
  2. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 01. Needs Assessment
      1. Benchmark HS.1 Identify a need in the school, local community, state, nation, or world.
      2. Benchmark HS.2 Research the need in the school, neighborhood, local community, state, nation, or world.
    2. Standard VS 02. Service and Learning
      1. Benchmark HS.1 Select a service project based on interests, abilities, and research.
      2. Benchmark HS.2 Identify specific learning objectives from the academic core curriculum that are being applied in the service-learning project.
    3. Standard VS 03. Providing Service
      1. Benchmark HS.2 Describe the goals of the project and their impact.
      2. Benchmark HS.3 Describe the task and the student role.
    4. Standard VS 04. Raising Private Resources
      1. Benchmark HS.1 Build a case for giving, explaining why resources (volunteers and money) are needed.
      2. Benchmark HS.2 Develop a detailed project budget.
      3. Benchmark HS.3 Describe a detailed action for service.
    5. Standard VS 05. Integrating the Service Experience into Learning
      1. Benchmark HS.2 Evaluate progress on the service-learning project before, during, and after the project.