Soon the curtains will close on another school year. You may be starting to wrap up your service learning efforts that you embarked on with your students. But, before the lights go down … roll the credits! Recognize and celebrate all that was learned and accomplished along the way.
Demonstration is a valuable step in the service learning process that helps tell the story of your service learning journey. This stage allows students to share what they have learned. They can continue their critical thinking by synthesizing their experiences and teaching others about the social issue they encountered. Of course, celebrating their hard work and effort may be a natural part of this process too.
But most of the time, the end of the school year comes, and the social issue you addressed still exists. Can demonstration be used to help continue the process beyond what was accomplished this school year? Here are a few ideas for using what this year’s students generated as a starting point for future service. Think of it as an outline for a movie sequel!
- Have students meet with the incoming grade (if the social issue is addressed in your curriculum again next year). This year’s “experts” can give their peers an overview of the social issue, so that your new students gain some prior knowledge before entering your doors in the fall.
- Plan a pledge party! Have each student set a goal or pledge for how they would like to support the cause into the future. What was left undone that could provide more support?
- Have students post an advertisement in your school (or community) newsletter explaining and advocating for the issue, then provide suggestions for summer opportunities that address the cause.
- Looking for a way to demonstrate a variety of issues addressed within different classrooms or student groups this year? Consider a volunteer fair. Each class, grade or student group involved in a specific service effort can host a booth. Invite students, parents, and community stakeholders to come learn about local organizations that are doing good work for the cause and how they can impact the social issue. Another opportunity to ignite summer service ideas!
Teachers deserve to demonstrate their service learning journey with other educators too! You can see fellow ECSL members demonstrate their process with students this year by attending our “Engagement in Action” Service Learning Expo on Tuesday, April 29th. See our Upcoming Events section at discoverecsl.wordpress.com .
What are other ways for demonstrating the service learning process?
Share other ideas by leaving a comment below.