CONNECTIONS TO CURRICULUM: Suggestions for incorporating classroom curriculum into service learning projects.

  • Students brainstorm what skills can be learned through activities
  • Reflections include a writing piece
  • Communication skills
  • Math (Budgeting, Planning, Estimations, Problem Solving)
  • Organization
  • Research
  • Assess the campus improvement plan
  • Develop relationships with each school curriculum coordinator
  • Show each school how this project connects to the curriculum
  • Finding funds to purchase curriculum
  • Research existing programs as examples of how they connected to the curriculum
  • Getting a list of standards students are struggling with from detailed test results (TAKS, etc)
  • Ask administrators for the campus service delivery plan
  • In planning, relate proposed project to each of the curricular areas and then focus on specific needs (campus or area of curriculum)
Tap into district resources if available

The following expert advice is excerpted from: The Complete Guide to Service Learning, Cathy Berger-Kaye!
(A great resource! We recommend it!)

1. Identify an existing program or activity to transform into authentic SL:
a)Identify and an activity or project already existing on campus
b)Examine it for learning opportunities
c)Exchange resources or ideas with teachers, students and community partners

2. Begin with standard curriculum content and skills, and find the natural extension into service.
a)Identify specific content and skill areas to be addressed.
b)Select area of emphasis that supports or adds to classroom learning and addresses learning objectives or state standards.
c)Look for additional learning opportunities in other subject areas.

3. From a theme or unit of study, identify content and skill connections
a)Begin with a broad theme or topic, often with obvious service implication.
b)Identify specific content and skill areas
c)Select a service application

4. Start with a student identified need
a)Identify student skills talents and interests
b)Student define a problem, a need and solutions
c)Students lead implementation as teacher facilitates, adding learning opportunities

5. Start with a community identified need
a)Community requests assistance, perhaps through an agency that has worked with the school before.
b)Teachers, students and community partners identify learning opportunities.