This module, Esprit de Corps Through Service Learning, is included in both my books, "Smile Inside: Experiential Activities for Self-Awareness Ages 12-13" and "Smile Inside: Experiential Activities for Self-Awareness Ages 14-15".
The activities prepare participants for a service-learning project in which they must decide on a social issue they are passionate about and then influence that area in a positive way. The module is facilitated using inquiry-based methods and the participants are responsible for:
Asking the right questions.
Discovering information and resources.
The inquiry-based learning method is beneficial because it forces participants to search their minds for where information is lacking and then organize what they encounter into the constructs of their thinking. They learn how to ask the right questions through trial and
error, which facilitates their comprehension. They are challenged to be flexible and overcome anxieties related to approaching others and public speaking. The module is semi-structured so participants can learn from the mistakes they make, which serves to reinforce learning.
Although there are often time constraints when working with young people, giving them as much time as possible to work on their projects reaps the greatest benefits for both the participants and the community. The skills and confidence gained from carrying out service learning projects strengthen the participants’ beliefs in their abilities to achieve. The intrinsic rewards positively influence self-respect and a sense of purpose in their lives.
Handouts include an action plan questionnaire, a blank calendar, and a certificate of appreciation.