Real-life learning excites students and enhances community connection. In part one of a three-article series, we take a look at building Community Learning into your instruction plan, brick by brick.

five children smiling
Photo by Loren Joseph / Unsplash

If your learner numbers need a boost – or if you want to jazz up student enthusiasm – consider creating “whiz/pop, how cool is that?!” Community Learning mini-courses.

Blow learners' minds with exciting Community Learning options!

Light the Spark

Fire up community awareness in your learners by spotlighting local needs. Even very young children can positively impact others’ lives! As you craft experiences for students, contemplate these guidelines to help children see, feel and sense what it truly means to contribute in a caring community.

Blend new knowledge with reinforcing skill-building ventures.

For example, delve into a lesson on the Veterans’ Day tradition of “America’s White Table” by reading this fabulous book. 

Next, assist students in acquiring supplies to set their own tables in your microschool environment or their own homes. Assign learners to write or call a veteran in their families or communities to thank them for their military service. Finally, plan a small group volunteer visit to a local veterans’ center.

Structure course content over four to six weeks (depending on students’ ages) and strike a balance of knowledge versus experiential lessons.

With Pre-K through 5th grade learners, tip the scales heavily in favor of real-life adventures. When in doubt for any age group, err on the “hands-on” side of the equation.

Maximize appeal by making hands-on activities accessible.

Think of geographically close opportunities with short drive times, so that students and parents can participate quickly and easily.

The faster and easier the drive, the better!
Match options to target audiences and the demographics of those you serve.

Is your local community strongly interested in specific missions? For example, families in rural areas may appreciate a community farming mini-course for their learners. If a retirement home is close by, elderly outreach might be well-received. 

Vary Community Learning adventures to see what generates the highest enrollment yield. Be confident in switching things up!

Awesome Community Learning Ideas


Need intriguing Community Learning ideas to knock the socks off your students? Put your creative teacher twist on any of the following.

Elderly Outreach 

Visit retirement villages, nursing homes or veterans’ homes. Read stories, play simple games, listen to music and sing with the residents.

woman sitting on wheelchair
Photo by Raychan / Unsplash

Look in Your Own Backyard 

Reach out to neighbors by delivering meals and volunteering to perform simple chores. Brainstorm random acts of kindness with learners.

green and black lawnmower on green grass
Photo by Daniel Watson / Unsplash

Library Helpers 

Ask the local library about volunteer opportunities. If book donations are welcome, students can sort through their own books and pack up ones to give away.

Learn amazing new skills at your local library!

Meal Outreach 

Serve meals in a homeless shelter or pack shoeboxes of toiletries for refuge centers.

red and green plastic pack
Photo by Nico Smit / Unsplash

Pet Shelters 

Start a new family hobby – volunteer together at an animal rescue center.

Community Farming 

Eat what you grow! Discover where food really comes from and how to grow/harvest it…while simultaneously forging friendships with neighbors.

bowl of tomatoes served on person hand
Photo by Elaine Casap / Unsplash

Community Learning mini-courses can be as planned or as casual as you’d like. Make the lessons and experiences work for your schedule and your students. Immerse learners in community service beginning at a very young age and pique their interest in lifelong contribution!

After all…we’re in this world together.
man wearing black cap with love your neighbour print during daytime
Photo by Nina Strehl / Unsplash

Have you incorporated real-life experiences in your learning journey? Share your adventures and thoughts…we’d love to hear about them!

Keep an eye on your email! Our next article on Community Learning features an inspirational story to energize you.

Did you see the edTeam's very own @Lexa discussing her teaching business and the @edTonomy app this week?

Check out Lexa's inspiring testimonial for the SmartSTART program and the power of business support in growing @TheLitAdvocate!👇🏼

edTeam's very own @Lexa on the power of programs to support local businesses, like the Pasco County SmartSTART program!