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 give the student the opportunity to participate in a community activity in order to learn work-related skills such as fundraising, collaboration, and communication.

Materials needed: Internet access


“You have a good heart. I notice your helpfulness when you [provide examples tailored to your students]. I would like to support you as you are given the opportunity to have an impact in our community.”

Discussion: Brainstorming

“I wonder what causes are important to you—which are worth your time and energy? If you could choose a cause to support, which would you choose? Some ideas are homelessness, rescued animals, hunger, cancer. Can you think of additional causes?”

Together, brainstorm a list of causes. It may be helpful to consider local organizations that exist to support specific groups of people/animals (homeless shelter, pet rescue center, food banks, Cancer CureSearch walk, etc.)

Assist student in narrowing list to one cause.

Exercise: Research Opportunities

“Now that you have chosen a cause that’s important to you, it’s time to consider how you can be of service. How can you raise awareness, give your time, raise funds, or support the mission? What does the cause need right now? How can you meet that need?”

  • The student can begin by researching existing organizations that support the cause. Local is much simpler, but not absolutely necessary. How can she join or support their efforts?
  • Is there are an upcoming rally, walk, drive, or fundraiser? Can the student attend?
  • Can the student spend an afternoon interacting with those affected by the cause? (Walking shelter dogs, serving food at a soup kitchen, etc.)

Discussion: Benefits

By participating in a community event, the student not only supports a cause, but also personally benefits from the experience. Discuss these benefits:

  • It’s very important to be aware of others and their pain and struggles. A young child isn’t fully capable of empathizing; this skill is something that should be taught and encouraged.
  • Fundraising, publicity, and other skills can be learned.
  • The opportuniy to meet with other people who have similar passions.
  • The student can join a team of people, all working toward a common goal. This is very similar to the concept of a job.

Exercise: Plan Development and Implementation

The student should devise a plan of how and when to support her identified cause. She will contact an organization and determine her role. She will devise a plan needed to implement her ideas. Example: If she would like to host a food drive, she will schedule a food drive date, request permission from school, plan to create a flyer to hang on school bulletin board, schedule a date to make an announcement over intercom, and plan a date to deliver collected canned goods to food bank.

Support student in implementing plan.


“When a group of people working toward a common cause join forces, the impact can be magnificent. Today you determined a worthy cause, located an organization that supports the cause, researched how you can support their efforts, and devised an action plan. I look forward to watching and supporting you as you make an impact.”

Progress notes, data collection, comments, and modifications: