Reciprocating Kindness

Teacher(s): Peter Geerling and Andrea Hall
Main Contact: Peter Geerling Email:
Date: 10-12-12 Building: Godfrey Lee ECC Grade Level: 2nd
First Semester: X Second Semester: X

Download PDF or Word

Project Overview

Give a brief overview of the project you are planning.

The 2nd grade students will perform various random act of kindness per month for members/groups found in our community that students feel need support. With the economy being down there are numerous families and companies in our community needing assistance/morale boost.


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?

The Godfrey-Lee community is lacking a sense of cohesion and togetherness. Communication and opportunities to work together are lacking. We determined this need by examining parental involvement surveys and attendance sheets for district academic and athletic events.

What service will you provide to address the need?

The 2nd grade students would plan, and create the projects listed below. Members of the community such as parents and members of community organizations would be invited to attend.

-Create trick or treat bags for Mel Trotter.
-Make placemats or centerpieces for the shelter Thanksgiving at the DeVos Place.
-Make ornaments and cards with the Wyoming Senior Center.
-Make dog treats for the Humane Society.
-Beautification of the community—plant, grow, and donate flowers.
-More to be determined by students.


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?

Language Arts:
TLW demonstrate the production and distribution of writing.
TLW participate in shared research to build and present knowledge.
TLW use the knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.

TLW sequence the life cycle of a plant.

Social Studies:
How Can a Citizen Affect a Community?
TLW recognize and celebrate diversity in the community.

TLW count and sort numbers within 1000.
TLW demonstrate knowledge of area and perimeter.

What are the educational goals?
Students will write an opinion piece about the need for more community togetherness.
Students will collaborate with adults and other students to perform acts of kindness for the local community.
Students will develop an awareness of the need to reciprocate kindness to others.


Curriculum Crafter Connections

Strand: 02ELA: (Writing)
TLW: Process write a paragraph, incorporating a main idea sentence with three supporting detail sentences. (Gist: Write a Complete Informational Paragraph)

Strand: 02SS: (Public Discourse, Decision Making, and Citizen Involvement)
TLW: Identify a problem, analyze information to solve it, and present the solution to inform others. (Gist: Public Problems – Solutions)

Additional State Standards and Benchmarks

List standards and benchmarks met by this project.
TLW: participate in shared research to build and present knowledge.
TLW: add a visual or auditory presentation to enhance or to help clarify the knowledge and ideas.
TLW: use the knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.
TLW: write a variety of opinion type text for different purposes.


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?

The students and teacher will do a shared writing piece before the project begins. This piece will be about why we are doing this project.

Also before the project begins, the students will write a prediction about how they think they will feel after the project is completed.

After the project, students again will write about their feelings and how successful they feel the project was.


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 explore the linguistic, generational and cultural diversity that is present in our community by interacting with its members to create and perform random acts of kindness.

During the project, students will be able to think about their strengths and weaknesses as learners. The project will need all types of learners, from action-oriented to linguistic. The students will be able to see the value in each kind of learner.

The idea of elementary students working alongside adults to complete the project is a great example of diversity, and will help to strengthen the project.


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?

The students will decide how to best meet the needs determined in this project. Students will look for ways to engage more members of our community, especially those who are often overlooked (limited English speakers, the elderly).



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

Who will you partner with for this project?

The Godfrey-Lee community, Mel-Trotter, Kent County Humane Society, Wyoming Senior Center

How will students benefit from this partnership?

Our community has given a lot to our kids: clothes, food, life experiences, health and dental care. This project is meant to show our community not only gratitude, but also to empower young students to go out into the world and make a difference with a sense of selflessness.

How will the partner benefit from this collaboration?

The Godfrey-Lee community will benefit from this collaboration by having a stronger sense of togetherness. Communities who communicate and work together have lower crime rates.



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?

The opinion writing assignment will be graded against the district’s writing rubric to determine how well the students incorporated the writing standards into their piece.

The initial writing piece, created as a class, regarding the reasons for doing the project will be used to assess whether the class as a whole understands the need to reciprocate kindness. A post-project writing piece about why the project was done could also be used.

Academic standards will be assessed using local common formative and summative assessments.

How will you assess your service goals?

If the students create and perform random acts of kindness then the project and can articulate a sense of selflessness, this project will be viewed as a success if we bring in more members of the community together, the project will be viewed as an even greater success.



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

How will you prepare students for this experience?

I will spend time discussing with the class the various things the Godfrey-Lee community has done for our students. Included in this discussion would be questions such as
-How does it feel to know that the people in our community care so much about our students?
-How can we repay them for the kindness they have showed us?
-Do you know your neighbors?

We will discuss that we are not the only ones who have needs. What do you think members of our community might need? How can we make a tighter community?

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

-Create trick or treat bags for Mel Trotter.
-Make placemats or centerpieces for the shelter Thanksgiving at the Devos Place.
-Make ornaments and cards with the Wyoming Senior Center.
-Make dog treats for the Humane Society.
-Beautification of the community—plant, grow, and donate flowers.



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 is a good example of aiding social progress. In a world consumed by getting more, beating the clock, and only looking out for ourselves, it is very easy to overlook any act of kindness. Instead of just expecting others to help in a time of need, this project attempts to show the students the reality behind these acts of kindness and how the students themselves can keep the cycle going by reciprocating with another act of kindness.