PrintTwo Forty-Five minute class periods plus the service project

The learner will

  • offer suggestions for a service project garnered from class and home discussions and a needs assessment.
  • be actively engaged in carrying out the agreed upon service plan/project.
  • reflect upon the community project experience and compose a letter to share their project and feelings about the project using an acceptable Friendly Letter format.
  • Seedfolks by Paul Fleishman
  • CD - Thomas, Marlo. Thanks and Giving. Song - All Kinds of People by Sheryl Crow, Words and Music by Nikki Anders & Phil Galdston, Sony Music Studios, NYC, 2004.
  • Rogers, Sally. "What Can One Little Person Do?" Thrushwood Kids, 1999 ASIN: B000S5AG4W
  • Additional materials required will vary depending upon the project undertaken by the group.
Home Connection 

The survey involving the two or three top identified community needs will be conductedin the home and immediate family. If appropriate, the notification/letter - sent to the home detailing the service project and the involvement of the students in it -may also include a request forfamily support and involvement in carrying out the community project along side the students.

  • CD - Thomas, Marlo. Thanks and Giving.  Song - All Kinds of People by Sheryl Crow, Words and Music by Nikki Anders & Phil Galdston, Sony Music Studios, NYC, 2004.
  • Rogers, Sally. "What Can One Little Person Do?" Thrushwood Kids, 1999. ASIN: B000S5AG4W


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Have the students listen to 'All Kinds of People' by Sheryl Crow and then initiate a discussion about how our world and our communities are composed of all types of people.Emphasize the fact that it is this diversity that makes our lives richer and more interesting. Reference and briefly review the story read in Lesson One (Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman.)

    Discuss thefact that all communities are usually far from perfect. Ask the students to identify and discuss some of the existing problems in their own community. Ask the students if they can do anything to maketheir community a better place in which to live. Can one person or even a class of students help to make a difference? At this point play the song, 'What Can One Little Person Do?'by Sally Rogers.

  2. Begin the lesson by reviewing some of the problems identified in Cleveland (Seedfolks) and challenge the students to consider if some of these same problems exist in their own community.

  3. Have the students identify some of the same problems as well as different/additional areas of community concern in their own community.Write their ideas on the display board.

  4. Once these concerns have been shared, provide time for the students to address each one and to identify the top two or three areas of concern that they feel exist in their community (or school community).

  5. Instruct the students to write these top two or three concerns on their Survey Worksheet (Handout One) and assign the Survey Worksheet (Handout One) as a homework project to be completed with at least three community members before the next class period.

  6. Have the students share with the class the numerical results of their survey and tally these numerical results on the display board.

  7. Once the numerical results have been shared, identify the ranking of the identified areas of community concern and focus the discussion on the Number One area of concern as evidenced in the survey results.

  8. Identify the pool of 'suggestions' offered as a way to approach the identified Number One area of concern and list these on the display board.

  9. Assign students to groups of three or four to discuss the pros and cons of each 'suggestion' to determine if the 'suggestion'is something doable by the class, giving their rationale as to "why" or "why not". Encourage them to 'add' their own suggestions as well.

  10. In a whole group discussion allow each small group to share their thoughts concerning all the 'suggestions' in an effort to identify those 'suggestions' that would be doable (given the available time, money, talent and/or interest required), if the class were to undertake the suggestion as a means of addressing the identity community need/project.

  11. Eliminate those 'suggestions' that would not be feasible due to financial, time, talent, and/or location constraints and by consensus identify one suggestion to implement in an effort to meet the identified community need.

  12. Secure all the necessary permissions and make all the necessary arrangements to conduct the service project.

  13. Conduct the service project.

  14. Once the service project has been completed, engage the students in a reflection time that responds to the following guide questions:

    1. ​NOW WHAT? Given my experience, what are my immediate goals (personal, professional, educational)? Specifically, what will I do now? Have the students seal this note in a self-addressed envelope. At a designated time in the future (3 months - 1 year), send students their notes. If time allows and it is appropriate have the students reflect on their reactions to the note.
    2. SO WHAT? Why is it important that I learned that?
    3. WHAT? What is the most important thing that I learned during this service project?
  15. Conclude this lesson with the writing of a friendly letter to the editor as described in the Assessment section below.


Student involvement in group discussions, surveying, decision-making, implementation and reflection will form the basis for the assessment of this lesson. The students will also be required to write a friendly letter to the editor of the local newspaper briefly explaining the service project, how it was developed, why it was developed and what impact the project had on the identified problem as well as on themselves as individuals involved in the project. This letter to the editor will be assessed utilizing the Rubric for a Friendly Letter to the Editor (Handout Two) as the assessment tool.

Cross Curriculum 

Involvement in the identification, planning, and implementation of a service project that meets a community need will form the basis of the experiential component for this lesson.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 01. Needs Assessment
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Identify a need in the school, local community, state, nation, or world.
      2. Benchmark MS.2 Research the need in the school, neighborhood, local community, state, nation, or world.
    2. Standard VS 02. Service and Learning
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Select a service project based on interests, abilities and research.
    3. Standard VS 03. Providing Service
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Provide a needed service.
    4. Standard VS 04. Raising Private Resources
      1. Benchmark MS.3 Develop a service plan.