Do Community Service That You Value

By Matt Andrews

Student Paths Outcomes and Standards:

Students develop awareness of their social system of support and constraints, and choose associations and behaviors that align with their values and goals.

Common Core Standards Addressed:


Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives, summarize points of agreement and disagreement, and, when warranted, qualify or justify their own views and understanding and make new connections in light of the evidence and reasoning presented.


Promote community service, and develop students’ ability to provide creative solutions to community needs. Teachers may want to follow this lesson with a presentation and introductions to specific community service projects at your school.

This lesson is designed to support school efforts to promote community service and is appropriate for students in Grades 7-12.


Student Path article, “Community Service: A Dozen Ways to Do It!”

Lesson Procedure:

Use the article “Community Service: A Dozen Ways to Do It!” from Student Paths to spark discussion and interest in community service.

Discussion Starter (5 minutes):

Begin the discussion with the questions:

  • Why do we do community service?
  • How do volunteers benefit from community service?
  • How does society depend upon and benefit from community service?

Students may be slow to answer this question and may know that it fulfills a requirement, but seek deeper answers as to why we need people to serve the community; how service is beneficial to both the volunteer and person in need; and a collection of common examples of community service as reference in further discussion.

Ask for four student volunteers with these roles (2 minutes):

  1. Lead the discussion,
  2. Read aloud
  3. Record big ideas on the board
  4. Take detailed notes on the computer to save for later.

Read and Brainstorm Ideas for Community Service (10-30 minutes):

Read the article aloud, and pause after each paragraph and allow students to make connections to the text and note ideas for real community service in the future. Encourage the students to lead the discussion and intervene when appropriate to keep the focus on brainstorming ideas for community service.

Close with Written Reflection (5 minutes):

After the class reads the article and completes a basic brainstorm of ideas for community service, ask them to write a few specific things that they can do this week. This is also a time to assign students a school-wide task of choosing a local place to volunteer for community service.

Your school or counselor may have useful resources to support this lesson. It helps to have a list of specific organizations looking for teenage volunteers, and some schools host a community service recruit day for all these organizations to visit campus. This article and lesson supports school efforts to promote community service.


Community Service: A Dozen Ways to Do It!

About the Author

Matt Andrews