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Service-Learning Project Ideas

Middle School Level

Multicultural Library-6th Grade (Newton, MA)
Students established a multicultural library of children's books for the Rosa Parks Day Care Center in Boston. This Center serves children from a variety of ethnic backgrounds including Cape Verdean, Vietnamese, Spanish, African American and Puerto Rican. This Day Care Center did not have many books that reflected the ethnicities of the children they serve. The students learned, through their own English classes, the importance of the system wide goal of "Respect for Human Differences" and what to look for in a book that is reflective of all children, particularly those of a multicultural background. They used these skills to select picture books that are multicultural. The students helped package these books and delivered them to the Day Care Center where they read aloud the books to the children. (ELA, History & Social Sciences curriculum connections)

History is What You Are Doing-6th Grade (Lawrence, MA)
In this summer service-learning project called History is What You Are Doing, students addressed the need to identify and preserve historical landmarks in the city of Lawrence. Students are aware and acknowledge that their city is rich with history with many places that are historically important. Many feel that there is a lack of awareness about these locations and their importance. The students identified historic sites in Lawrence and developed markers/placards to identify the sites in an effort to bring attention to these important historical sites, instill pride in residents, increase tourism, and in general, increase awareness of the rich history of the city. (History and Social Sciences curriculum connections)

Watt's Up Meters?-6th Grade (Winchester, MA)
With increasing energy expenses and environmental concerns, three sixth grade science teachers and 306 students researched and discussed how they could effect energy conservation. Student participants decided it would be most useful to narrow their field of data collection into three areas. One team of student scientists were designated to test private homes, while another tested Winchester's McCall Middle School, and a third group of students went to visit Winchester public buildings. In all three areas- private homes, McCall Middle School, and public buildings - students tested for vampire energy, a type of energy used by things that consume electricity twenty-four hours a day, even when they are turned off or not being used. After the collection of data, students created a lab demonstrating what they had learned. An energy newsletter was created and shared with the entire McCall community. (Science and Technology curriculum connections)

The Green Team-7th&8th Grade (New Bedford, MA)
A total of 120 students joined the Green Team, an environmental program for Massachusetts' schools sponsored by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs and the Department of Environmental Protection. Students recycled fruits and vegetables via indoor compost. Students then used the soil from the compost to plant vegetables in "bottle biomes," made by re-using 2-liter bottles. Students watched their plants grow and saw the water cycle first hand - from ground water to absorption of the water by the plant, transpiration out of the plant, condensation on the inside of the bottle, and then "precipitation," as the water rolled down the side of the bottle back into the soil. (Science & Technology curriculum connections)

The Fish Project-8th Grade (Northampton, MA)
Eighth grade students researched the historical and economic importance of fishing along the Connecticut River and the impact of industrialization and damming on anadromous and catadromous fish migration and population. After inter-curricular exploration of the topic of fish in science, math, social studies and art (both in the classroom and in the community), students decided to design, print and distribute a booklet with information they felt was important to share with the surrounding community. (ELA, History & Social Sciences curriculum connections)

Dump No Waste-7th -12th Grades (Academy of Strategic Learning, Amesbury, MA)
Faculty at the Academy of Strategic Learning developed and implemented an integrated environmental education project that included all students at the Academy. The goals were to inspire students to take responsibility for the environment and to see that they have the power to affect positive change. The service project included analyzing and mapping waterways and identifying and stenciling 350 storm drains in Amesbury. The intended beneficiaries are the 18,000 residents of Amesbury. The intended results are to reduce dumping and waste disposal down storm drains. (English Language Arts, History & Social Sciences, Mathematics, Science & Technology curriculum connections)

Community Literacy-6th, 7th & 8th Grades (Smith Leadership Academy, Boston, MA)
The 7th grade students read to the pre-school students at the Dorchester Multi-Service Center. They learned how to read effectively to very young children using voice projection, change in tone, articulation, enunciation, and dramatic renderings of the story. The students realized the importance of phonetics, pronunciation, and helping the young children to form sentences and with word recognition. The pre-school students also improved their comprehension because they would ask questions to the students, which in turn helped to form mentoring relationships. This Service-Learning experience was followed by thorough reflection of the literacy needs of the community and resulted in students' awareness of their role in promoting literacy. (ELA curriculum connections)

Last Updated: December 14, 2007
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