Service Learning Project Preparation Curriculum
Chicago Public Schools recognizes service-learning as a powerful teaching and learning methodology. When tied to classroom curriculum, service-learning can deliver important academic, civic and social/emotional outcomes. In order for students to experience the full power and impact of service-learning, however, it is important that they are well prepared for the service experience. Preparation enables students to connect academics to authentic experiences. It also enables them to formulate and explore important questions pertaining to the service project. Establishing service and learning goals at the outset of the project along with good guiding questions can enable students to have a richer experience.
The Service-Learning Initiative of Chicago Public Schools has five resources now available for teachers: District Initiatives, Project Preparation Resource Kits, Project Exemplars, Exemplary Projects, Post Service Extended Learning Resources, and a lesson introducing students to service-learning.
The Service-Learning Initiative works with community and civic organizations across the city to offer numerous quality projects in which classrooms can participate. Each of the project opportunities can be integrated with specific content areas. For more information about any of these initiatives or how your students can participate, contact your Service-Learning Coach or the Service-Learning Initiative at 773/553-6391.
Project Preparation Resource Kits
The Service-Learning Initiative has developed Project Preparation Resource Kits in seven issue areas: Aging, Global Warming, Hunger and Poverty, Housing and Homelessness, Elections, Jane Addams, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Cesar Chavez. Each curriculum guide is designed as a resource for teachers to prepare students for a service project. Each kit includes activities designed to examine the important social issues, links to State Standards and content areas, background information and data, project ideas, and contacts to resource organizations. We expect that teachers will take what is useful and employ it in the classroom. The intent of the curriculum is to encourage inquiry- and project-based teaching strategies as a means for students to acquire the knowledge that will make the service experience more meaningful.
The Service-Learning Initiative has also developed 35 Project Exemplars in the following content areas. Each 2-page exemplar walks teachers through the process of connecting classroom content to service.
Chicago Public Schools has available a publication of 20 exemplary projects facilitated by CPS teachers. If you would like a copy of the 20 Exemplary Projects contact Cristina Salgado at 773.553-6392 or email@example.com.
Post Service Extended Learning Resources
The service experience can and should begin to raise broader questions for students about critical social issues. Upon returning from the service project experience, teachers are invited to facilitate post service extended learning by utilizing curricular resources in the following areas:
These resources enable students to extend their learning by exploring broader issues, policies, and legislation directly connected to the service experience. Each resource can help the classroom align classroom learning to the Common Core Standards.
Any questions about these curricular resources can be directed to Jon Schmidt, Manager, Democracy Learning and Student Leadership, at 773/553-6391 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Introduction to Service-Learning
For teachers who are interested in facilitating independent projects in the classroom, the following lesson is a good way to introduce your students to service-learning.