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Using Service Learning in the Social Studies Classroom

Life Skills

  • Thinking & Reasoning
  • Communication
  • Social & Civic Responsibility
  • Employability




Service learning combines academic instruction, meaningful service and critical reflective thinking to enhance student learning and civic responsibility. Service learning is more than just service "projects", academic integration and relevance are critical.

Enduring Understanding:

  • Information obtained in the classroom is relevant and can be used to make a real improvement in the world.

Essential Questions:

  • What are the problems facing my community?
  • How can information gained in the classroom help solve those problems?
  • How can I make a difference?


Background for Teachers

  • The National Service Learning Clearinghouse has an excellent website which gives basic and in-depth information about Service Learning and the Service Learning process. For a definition and basic information consult the following Website. Service Learning Clearinghouse
  • Another excellent source for effective practices/projects at all grade levels and for all subjects is found at the Epicenter Website

    Intended Learning Outcomes

    • Students will understand the problems facing their community.
    • Students will understand how information gained in the classroom can help solve those problems.
    • Students will understand how they can make a difference in the world.


    See the "Materials" and "Teacher Background" sections of this lesson for links to excellent resources.

Created: 08/07/2002
Updated: 02/05/2018