Service Learning doing what you love!

Check out the journal submission from one of my online students involving teaching kids science! 

For my ten hours of service learning, I decided to volunteer with a home school group. My group of choice was Community Christian Homeschoolers in Gainesville, Florida, and I was a volunteer as part of the science lessons. I am an education major at UWF and plan to home school my children, so I thought what better way to serve my hours than teaching home school kids about the environment and how to save our planet. To complete my hours, each day I was to provide an activity; my activities were environmentally geared and lasted 3-4 hours. The first day, Monday, February 10th, we made paper roses for Valentine’s Day, but the lesson I taught was on how flowers are beneficial to our environment. I taught the kids that flowers breathe in the “bad” carbon dioxide, and release the “good” oxygen for us to breathe. There was an understanding at the end of the lesson about how we need plants to survive; we need them to be able to breathe.
            On Tuesday, February 11th, I planned an activity on resource scarcity. The finished product would be a collage of mixed fabrics. There were ten areas to glue in on each child’s paper, but I only put enough fabric on the table for three pieces per student. I explained that I would only put one more piece of fabric on the table every two minutes, and to use their materials wisely. Knowing some kids would finish, some would have a couple pieces glued, and some might not have any, once the fabric ran out they started racing for each new piece. This is when I explained how there are some things on Earth that we don’t always have enough of. For example, water, food, and the reproduction of plants in ecosystems are very scarce. If we keep using things up before we can get more there will be a problem. I taught if there is not enough for everyone to finish then we have to take our time and learn how to conserve.
            My last day, Wednesday, February 12th, I planned an activity based on water pollution. I set up a bucket of water, and gave each student something to put in the bucket. For example, I used items such as dirt, sand, sticks, pieces of colored plastic, soda. After each student placed their item in the water, I used a screen like structure to act as a filter and taped it to the top of the bucket. I began to pour the water from one bucket into another. Although some things were stopped by the screen there was still dirty water. The lesson I taught was on how even though the water might look clean, sometimes it is still dirty. I also showed that when we litter it makes it to the filters and comes through our main sources for water (sink, shower, etc.).

            This experience has definitely made me become an expert in the lessons I was teaching because at the elementary age, those students have a curiosity and nonstop questions. It also gave me practice in my field of study, as well as being able to spread the word about our environment and how valuable it is to us as humans living on this planet.