Volunteers in the Community

K, 1, 2
Students make the connection that responsible community behavior involves acting for the common good. They will identify volunteer positions in the community and find a volunteer opportunity for themselves.
Lesson Rating 
PrintOne Forty-Five Minute Class Period (plus time to carry out project)
The learner will:
  • define and give examples of volunteers.
  • relate the concepts of responsibility for the common good and volunteering.
  • choose and carry out a volunteer project in the school or local community.
Completed homework from Lesson Two: Community Helpers , Attachment One: Volunteering in the Community
Home Connection 
None for this lesson.

Small, David. Ruby Mae Has Something to Say . Dragonfly, 1999. ISBN: 0517885913


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Tell the students that communities have other needs not mentioned in the previous lessons, but there isn't anyone to pay someone to do those jobs. The community needs volunteers to do those very important jobs. Define volunteer as someone who shares time and/or talent for the common good. Give a familiar example such as a parent volunteer in the lunchroom. The school cannot afford to pay this person, but lunch would not run as smoothly without his or her help. Volunteer jobs are very important in a community.

  2. Refer to the homework from Lesson Two: Community Helpers, Attachment One: Volunteering in the Community . Ask the students if they know of anyone who volunteers time in the classroom/school, church or community. List on the chart paper some of the volunteer opportunities that they know about, and add your own ideas of local volunteer positions/jobs. (You can do a Google search for community volunteers. United Way and Volunteer Match are two organizations that connect you with local volunteer opportunities. Some of the volunteer categories include health, education, public safety, political, arts, athletics, mentoring, beautification, homelessness and museums.)
  3. Relate the concept of responsible behavior ( Lesson One: Responsibility and Jobs ) to the concept of community helpers by asking students if volunteers demonstrate responsible behavior. (Not only do volunteers do what is expected, but they go beyond.) How do volunteers make the community (or school or church) a better place? Would the community (or church or school) be able to get along without volunteers?
  4. Tell the students that even young people have a responsibility to make the community a better place. Talk about the impact of their behavior on the community today and in the future.
  5. Ask the students if they know of any needs in the school or local community that concern them. Brainstorm ideas for appropriate projects for the class. Assess the resources needed to carry out the projects and then let the students vote between the most realistic ones. Projects may involve beautification, raising money, collecting food, educating others about a need or establishing a partnership with a group.
  6. After they carry out their project, work together to analyze benefits of their actions and identify whom they affected.
Assess student understanding of community responsibility by asking them to name or illustrate two jobs in the community that are for pay and two “jobs” that are done by volunteers. Younger children can illustrate one of each.
Cross Curriculum 
Students brainstorm ways to act for the common good in the community. They choose one activity to carry out and work together to complete it. Students will analyze benefits of their actions and identify whom they affect.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.5 Define the terms "profit" and "not-for-profit."
    2. Standard DP 02. Roles of Government, Business, and Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.4 Define each of the sectors: business, government, civil society, and family.
    3. Standard DP 03. Names and Types of Organizations within the Civil Society Sector
      1. Benchmark E.1 Name and recognize the civil society sector as a separate part of the community.
      2. Benchmark E.2 Name an example of a civil society charitable organization.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 03. Philanthropy and Economics
      1. Benchmark E.1 Define and give examples of civil society sector corporations.
      2. Benchmark E.10 Identify local people who have jobs in the civil society sector.
    2. Standard PCS 04. Philanthropy and Geography
      1. Benchmark E.1 Name examples of civil society organizations in the community.