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Service Learning, a subset of service engagement, is a course-based, credit-bearing educational experience in which students participate in an organized service activity that meets identified community needs; use knowledge and skills directly related to a course or discipline; and reflect on the service activity in such a way as to gain further understanding of course content, a broader appreciation of the discipline, and an enhanced sense of personal values and civic responsibility.

This handbook in the Purdue University Learning and Service Engagement Series (PULSE) provides a guide for reflections and critical thought for young students engaged in Service Learning courses. As you experience community service, you will be reflecting through questions regarding how you react and feel about those service learning events. Some questions will also be related to the logistics of your activities. Based on the methods used at Purdue, the handbook is also intended be of use to instructors at other institutions interested in leading their students through Service Learning projects. Through these guidelines children will be able to gain a broader understanding of the world around them through their Service Learning activities.

The handbook contains a range of self-assessment tools designed to be used as follows:

  • Take the Public Affairs quiz before you start your project.
  • Fill out the “What do you think?” sheet.
  • Fill out the Service-Learning Project Plan.
  • Fill out the Community Service Log Form if your teacher assigns it.
  • Fill out the daily journal or weekly journal based on your teacher’s instructions.
  • Complete the Final Service-Learning Project Assignment if required by your teacher.
  • Do the Picture Perfect drawing assignment.
  • Complete “The End” quiz.
  • Finish the “Last thoughts about Community Service” sheet.



Publication Date



Center for Instructional Excellence, Purdue University


West Lafayette, Indiana


service learning, community engagement, instructional design, children


Educational Methods


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Service Learning Reflection Journal for Kids: Tools and Activities to Help You with Your Service Learning Project from Beginning to End