Service Learning with NYCMS students at PS 92

Last Thursday I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to visit one of the classes participating in Service Learning in the NYCMS after-school program at PS 92.

After finishing their homework students came to the rug to engage in a “turn and talk” to review the previous week’s service learning lesson.  Student’s had been discussing ways to share ideas with the public, or how to advocate for a particular cause.  They recalled discussing ways to communicate such as using the internet, making phone calls, writing letters, and creating art.

Service Learning leader Reanna Trunk encourages students in their turn and talk.

After a few minutes of discussion students reconvened to share their ideas as a group.  Complimenting everyone’s great recollection Service Learning leader Ms. Reanna let students know that they were going to begin discussing their chosen mode of communication for their advocacy project, but first it was time to shake out some extra energy!

Shaking it out!

Ready to get down to business, Ms. Reanna brought the conversation to murals.  A mural is a very large painting or photograph, usually adhered directly to a wall and often relaying some sort of message.  Students broke into small discussion groups where they looked at pictures of different murals.  Each student had the opportunity to write some of their own ideas about what the mural was trying to say on a post-it note.  Sharing those individual ideas the group came to a consensus (or group decision) on what the mural had to say.

What message is the mural trying to convey?

Once all of the groups were finished it was back to the rug to share their ideas with the class.  Students made wonderful observations, it was fascinating to observe such strong ideas conveyed through art!

Presenting the group's ideas about the mural

After thinking about the importance of after-school, learning about how to advocate on behalf of a cause, and focusing in on the ability to advocate through art by constructing a mural, students were ready to start brainstorming ideas for their final service learning project – a mural advocating on behalf of after-school programs.  I have some amazing pictures of their brainstorming session, but not wanting to ruin anything you’ll have to wait a couple of weeks to see the finished project unveiled at the Harlem Ivy Service Learning showcase, December 17th at Teachers College!