From Social Injustice/Social Need to Action

9, 10, 11, 12

Prior to this lesson, the learners will have studied racial intolerance from a historical perspective and have researched and reported on contemporary examples of social injustice/needs.  In this lesson, the learners  will put their knowledge and understanding into action by planning and completing a service project to right a social injustice/social need that promotes the common good . They will do this by helping to plan as well as participate in one of three projects identified in Lesson Four. They will then be expected to complete a journal reflecting on their service project experience.

PrintOne Fifty-Minute Class Period (students will continue to work on projects outside of school)

The learner will:

  • choose one of three identified social needs service projects
  • work collaboratively in a group to develop a plan to address the social need
  • participate in a service project designed to address the social need
  • complete a series of reflective journal entries analyzing their service experience

copies for the three groups of the handout: Service Project Proposal

student copies of handout: Service Project Commitment

student copies of handout: Service Project Due Dates

student copies of handout: Journal Expectations

student copies of handout: Journal Rubric

six sheets of chart paper and markers

Home Connection 

For some groups, parental involvement may determine the nature of their service learning proposal. For instance, if a group decides to mentor youth after school, or if they propose to volunteer at a soup kitchen that serves in a neighboring community, the group members may need to rely on parents for transportation. For this reason, parents must be informed of the groups intentions to serve. Requiring parents and guardians to sign the Service Commitment form ensures that parents are aware of their learner's service proposal.


None for this lesson.


  1. (Teacher Note: During the oral presentations of Lesson Four, the learners were to have completed the Reflective Log,including the Speaker's Name, Topic, Notes and an interest Ranking of the presentation of their peers. This interest ranking is intended to answer the question, "Who did the best job of persuading me to personally become involved in their identified social injustice/need? Compiling these rankings, the top three social injustices/needswere to have been identified prior to the start of this lesson.

    Anticipatory Set:

    Begin the class by reminding the learners of the top three social injustices/needs they, as a class, identified based upon the speeches and rankings completed in Lesson Four. Having had some time to think about these three possibilities, they are now to take a minute to decide in which of the three identified social injustice/needs areas they wish to involve themselves.

  2. Pass out slips of paper and have the learners place their name and the name of the area they have elected to become involved with and collect these slips from the learners.

  3. Identify three areas in the classroom giving each location a social need designation and then have the learners move to the area they selected on their slip of paper. Allow a few moments for the groups to identify with each other.

  4. Provide each group with large sheets of chart paper and markers (or a display board area) and pose the following prompt tothe groups, "Brainstorm at least 10 things your group could do to combat your group's social need." The group's recorder writes this information on large sheets of chart paper /display

  5. After groups have brainstormed, each group presents their brainstormed list to the class. Post the chart papers/display boardwhere all the learners can see them.

  6. Now that the groups have generated many possible ideas, tell the class that they will shortly select an action to serve the common good. Hand out Service Learning Proposal, the Service Learning Commitment, the Service Learning Due Dates, the Journal Expectations, and the Journal Rubric (Handouts One - Five).Go through these handouts with the class.

  7. Service Learning Proposal: Remind the learners that they must answer "yes" to each question in the Solution Proposal Checklist on the Service Learning Proposal. If they answer "no" to any of the questions, they must rewrite/revise their proposed Action. (Have extra copies of this handout to allow for messy revisions and the rewriting of a clean copy).

  8. Service Project Commitment: Remind the learners that they must all sign the Service Project Commitment. They must also have this form signed by their parents/guardians. Only after obtaining all necessary signatures can the group approach the teacher for project approval and his/her signature.

  9. Service Project Due Dates: Inform the learners that, when they have the teacher's approval and signature for their Service Project Proposal, the group can complete the Due Dates form with the teacher. Groups may be completing their service learning project on different days, the journal due dates will need to vary between groups.

  10. Journal Expectations and Journal Rubric: Review these forms and field any questions. Remind the learners that this is the graded portion of the lesson.

  11. Establish a date by which everything is to be completed and submitted.


It is important that grades not be used to reward the service rendered; rather, the learners will be assessed on their involvement/teamwork in the group planning and helping to carry out of the plan as well as their Journaling. Journals will be assessed using the Journal Rubric (Handout 5)

Cross Curriculum 

In the prior lessons of this Unit, the learners, through research and inquiry, have already identified many genuine social needs. In this lesson, small groups will develop service proposals (student voice) to meet these social needs and will complete a series of journal entriesanalyzingtheir experiences while doing so (reflection).

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 02. Service and Learning
      1. Benchmark HS.1 Select a service project based on interests, abilities, and research.
    2. Standard VS 03. Providing Service
      1. Benchmark HS.1 Provide a needed service.
      2. Benchmark HS.2 Describe the goals of the project and their impact.
      3. Benchmark HS.3 Describe the task and the student role.
      4. Benchmark HS.4 Demonstrate the skills needed for the successful performance of the volunteer job.
    3. 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.
      2. Benchmark HS.3 Identify outcomes from the service.