Post-community service reflection activities
Reflection is a key component to effective youth service-learning projects, but it also has important implications for use in other service projects and youth activities. Structured reflection helps participants:
- Consider what they accomplished and learned during an activity
- Contemplate ways that the experience could be adjusted to improve the outcome
- Formulate concrete ideas of how they can use their experience in other facets of their lives
- Share their ideas and feelings with others
- Communicate the value of their participation with themselves and other participants
Next time your Builders Club completes a service project consider wrapping up with an activity that allows for some personal reflection time. Here are a few ideas:
Pass the ball
Material needed: Any soft object that can be tossed from one participant to another; Ideal group size: 5–15
Description: In this activity, the group sits in a circle and you facilitate a discussion about what the youth learned by participating in the service activity. A soft object is tossed around the circle. Whoever has the object is the one who can talk. Many times youth are more willing to participate and answer the questions because they want to be able to hold and toss the object.
First explain how the activity works. Ask them to sit (or stand) in a circle. “I’m going to ask a question. If you’d like to answer raise your hand and I’ll pass you the ball (or whatever object you have). Then once you are done you can pass the ball to someone else that would like to answer the same question.”
When you are ready to ask a different question, ask that the object be tossed back to you. After the youth answer each question, you can take time to summarize what they said or expand on the thoughts they shared.
Here are some example questions that can be used for most activities:
- What did you like best about this service activity?
- What did you like least about this service activity?
- What did you learn by participating in this service activity?
- What are two or three words you can use to describe how you feel about this service activity?
- What are some other service activities that you would like to do?
- Why was it important that we worked together to complete this service activity?
- What, if anything, will you do differently at home because of the experiences you had while participating in this service activity?
- Would you like to participate in this service activity again? Why or why not?
- If we did this service activity again, what could we do to make it better?
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