Fighting for Freedom

Teacher(s): Nicole Yuhas, Lauren Lancaster, Jenna Kimak, Shannon Downey, Matthew Daw
Mentor Teachers: Karen Koets, Gull Lake Community Schools and Lauren Kolwalski, Plymouth Canton Community Schools
MSU Instructor: Kim Keglovitz Email:
Date: May 2012 Building: TBD Grade Level: 5th Grade

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Type of Service


Point of Entry

Toiletries drive

Project Overview

In this project, we will be bringing awareness to the connection of past slavery and current slavery abroad and developing a service learning project in order to help those who have been rescued from slavery. We will do this by involving the whole school by having students from all grades donate in Freedom Boxes for a Refugee Center. The students will inform the school on the issues of slavery and reflect on their process and the results of the service learning project.

Rationale & Goal

With this project, we want to bring awareness of slavery to the school and show students that they can make a difference by creating awareness. There are currently an estimated 27 million slaves in the world today, larger than ever before. We strive to have the participating students gain awareness that they want to share with their community. A class goal is to collect an abundant amount of donations for the refugee center and have the students understand that they can make a difference and it doesn’t take much to do so.

This unit’s goals are to create a service learning project that can accomplish the goals listed above. The day-t0-day lesson plans will take the classroom from Day 1 of first learning about slavery, into researching, collecting donations and presenting the months’ worth of work to the entire school on the last day. Each day of the project will tie in what the kids are learning in school and use it to make a difference in the world on a local as well as global scale. Students are put into action as they research a hot topic out of the news today and spread awareness to the entire school community. Each student will be challenged and rewarded as they work towards their personal goals and see the outcome of their hard work.

We chose the issue of slavery, because it is not only taking place around the world, but also in our own communities today. It is important for students to know the conditions of slavery outside of our own country and learn the value of freedom while doing so. Students’ views will be expanded as they research slavery happening all around the glove and relate it to slavery in America. Due to the expanding problem of slavery in the word today, it is important for the next generation to be aware and know that it is possible to make a difference. We are confident that this project will evoke emotions in students that will stay with them as they make a difference on local and global levels.


Effective Practice: MEANINGFUL SERVICE

Service learning actively engages participants in meaningful and personally relevant service activities.

What community need will you address and how did you determine the need?

Students will address the issue of modern day slavery. This need was determined through the fact that modern day slavery is a topic that often foes untouched and the Refugee Development Center is always in need of support for the refugees they rescue from around the world.

What service will you provide to address the need?

Students will make donation boxes for the school to fill with products to donate to the victims at the Refugee Development Center.


Effective Practice: LINK TO CURRICULUM

Service learning is intentionally used as an instructional strategy to meet learning goals and/or content standards.

How is this project related to your curriculum?

It is connected to our Social Studies curriculum. Specifically it looks at the following facts:
• Change happens over time.
• People can work together to solve big problems.
• People in our country can solve big problems.

What are the educational goals?

To look at slavery within the history of the United States, globally, and in the modern day. To create awareness I the community and the classroom about an issue that most people are not aware of and the severity of its extent, as well as to allow the children to develop a plan to assist the community based on their own initiative. Also to help children realize that they can help to make a difference in the world.


Curriculum Crafter Connections

Strand: 05SS: (History)
TLW: Analyze the development of the slave system in the Americas and its impact on the life of Africans. (Gist: American Slavery)

Strand: 05SS: (Public Discourse, Decision Making, and Citizen Involvement
TLW: Identify a problem, analyze information to solve it, and present the solution to inform others. (Gist: Solving Public Problems)

Strand: 05 ELA: (Reading Informational Text)
TLW: Utilize key ideas and details when reading Informational Text. (Gist: Key Ideas and Details – Informational Text)

Strand: 5 ELA: (Reading Literature)
TLW: Utilize key ideas and details when reading literature. (Gist: Key Ideas and Details – Literature)


Effective Practice: REFLECTION

Service learning incorporates multiple challenging reflection activities that are ongoing and that prompt deep thinking and analysis about oneself and one’s relationship to society.

What form(s) of reflection will you use with the students to help them identify what they have learned and accomplished?

Students will create a bulletin board displaying their progress through the service-learning project, including their planning processes, procedures, and results. Students will then write a short analysis of what service learning means to them and what it means to be a hero. Student will then attend a ceremony where they will receive awards for their community assistance


Effective Practice: DIVERSITY

Service learning promotes understanding of diversity and mutual respect among all participants.

What types of diverse perspectives and experiences will be explored as part of your project?

(i.e.: cultural generational, abilities/disabilities, learning styles, etc)

Students will learn about diversity through this project by participating in a variety of activities. These activities include research on slavery and how it affects people all over the world, watching videos about people from different places, and helping refugees from other countries. Every student will be expected to research how slavery is going on all over the world. This show students that not one place is better than another and exposes them to the truth that slavery exists in all races, social classes, and genders. Students will also be exposed to videos in which people from various countries live under the thumb of slavery. The overall goal of the project is to raise awareness and collect items for refugees who have escaped slavery in their home country. Because of this, students will learn the importance of freedom and their ability to help people of all ages, genders, ethnicities, etc. Fighting for Freedom project will help children to see the diversity of people from all around the world.


Effective Practice: YOUTH VOICE

Service learning provides youth with a strong voice in planning, implementing, and evaluating service learning experiences with guidance from adults.

How will students gain ownership of the project?

Students will study the effects of slavery on individuals and give their input on what should be done about it. This project is flexible enough that students’ ideas can be fit in. Also students are completely “hand-on” in every part of the project, so they can feel that this project is truly theirs.



Service learning partnerships are collaborative, mutually beneficial, and address community needs.

Who will you partner with for this project?

We will partner with the community refugee center.

How will students benefit from this partnership?

The students will benefit through a heightened awareness of this issue, but also the knowledge of a local agency that helps the victims.

How will the partner benefit from this collaboration?

The partner will benefit because the kids will be collecting donations for the refugee center.



Service learning engages participants in an ongoing process to assess the quality of implementation and progress toward meeting specified goals, and uses results for improvement and sustainability.

How will you assess the student learning goals?

Along the way, we will have the students do multiple activities that make them reflect on the project, such as journal entries and exit slips. At the end of the project we will also have an assembly with the whole school and the director of the refugee camp and allow the kids to reflect on how much of an impact they had as well.

How will you assess your service goals?

At the beginning of the project, we will make goals as a classroom. We will track these goals by whatever the group that is in charge of tracking wants to do.



Service learning has sufficient duration and intensity to address community needs and meet specified outcomes.

How will you prepare students for this experience?

We will prepare the students for this experience by having them research modern day slaver and past slavery in the states. We also have video clips explaining the Refugee Development Center.

What are some sample possible activities students might do as part of this project?

Some sample possible activities students might do as part of this project would be…
• Creating pamphlets, posters and donation boxes
• Counting donations
• Presenting to the school and classrooms



The three arms of sustainability are environmental stewardship, economic growth, and social progress. Think planet, profit, and people.

Describe how your project addresses the issue of sustainability?

This project addresses the issue of sustainability through social progress – creating an awareness of modern day slavery and helping a local agency that helps victims.