Name(s) of student(s):

Age and grade level:  

Goal from IEP connected to lesson:  

Objective from IEP connected to lesson:  

Purpose of lesson: To obtain a volunteer position in order to gain experience in a work setting.

Materials needed: Internet access, phone


“Little is as rewarding as helping other people. I want you to experience the joy in serving others. We are going to plan a volunteer experience for you, keeping your interests in mind.”

Discussion: Benefits

“Volunteering is a gift to the people in our community. Volunteering serves the needs of others and also benefits you. Here’s how:

  • Learn new skills
  • Feel pride from your accomplishments
  • Network with others
  • Add ‘volunteering’ to your resume
  • Gain a new experience
  • Get a feel for a certain line of work
  • Feel satisfaction from helping others
  • Meet new people
  • Make a new hobby

Volunteering gives you a work-like experience. As a volunteer, you put in effort, have responsibilities, follow through with a commitment, and receive feedback. It’s a good precursor to a paid job.”

Exercise: Research

Using an Internet search engine, have the student research typical volunteer opportunities. Investigate specific opportunities of interest.

Discussion: Choosing an Opportunity

Did the student find any interesting opportunities? Are any opportunities readily available in the local area? Does the student have network connections that may help her gain a volunteer position? Are there any prospects that align with her career goals?  

What skill set does the student want to use to volunteer? (Talking with people, manual labor, etc.)

Consider the student’s availability, transportation needs, and ability to commit to a volunteer position. Should the arrangement be a one-time, weekly, or monthly occurrence?

Determine appropriate volunteer positions based on interest, availability, transportation, and the student’s skill set.

Exercise: Make Contact

Assuming parental consent has been obtained, visit or call volunteer prospects to receive information, applications, and expectations.

Fill out and return applications.

Discussion: What to Expect

Discuss expectations, possible accommodations, and workplace etiquette specific to the student’s volunteer positions.


“Volunteering is beneficial to you and our community. We researched possible volunteer opportunities and sought one that would complement your skillset, availability, and interests. You applied and now we await a response.”

Progress notes, data collection, comments, and modifications: