Phone Calls

6, 7, 8
Students will be confident enough to schedule appointments to volunteer with the organizations they have chosen and make a professional telephone call.
Lesson Rating 
PrintOne Forty-Minute Class Period
Students will generate a list of five to seven questions they will use to call a volunteer or service organization.
A telephone book, a telephone (a toy phone may be substituted), paper, and pencil


  1. Anticipatory Set:Ask the students to share stories of rude phone calls they have had. After a few stories, point out that preparedness will help avoid the perception of rudeness.

  2. Have the students generate a list of questions that they might want to ask of the volunteer coordinators at the organizations. Write these questions on the board.
  3. Ask for a volunteer who is willing to engage in a mock telephone conversation in front of the class. The instructor and the volunteer student should sit back to back and have a conversation using the list of questions just generated by the class.
  4. After the conversation, ask the class to discuss what went well. What could be improved?
  5. Ask for another volunteer. This time, the instructor will be a busy volunteer coordinator who doesn’t like children as volunteers. After the conversation, ask the class what to do when they encounter this type of situation over the telephone.
  6. Give the students time to generate questions specifically for their organization and to find the correct phone numbers they will need. When they have finished, they should practice their phone calls with a partner with their backs to each other.
Students will design a list of questions to be used when they call their specific organization. The success of the lesson will be apparent based on anecdotal evidence from the students after they have made their actual phone calls.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 02. Service and Learning
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Select a service project based on interests, abilities and research.