Volunteerism - Intermediate High

Positive Psychology Learning Outcomes: Students will reflect on their identity--including their interests, skills, and goals; discuss the positive feelings and outcomes of volunteering; and assist their peers to make a plan for volunteering in their community. Language Learning Outcomes: Students will practice asking and answering interview questions, actively participate in conversations through proper responses, and ask and answer a limited variety of questions.

Lesson Information

Positive Psychology Learning Outcomes

Students will...

  1. reflect on their identity--including their interests, skills, and goals. 
  2. discuss the positive feelings and outcomes of volunteering.
  3. assist their peers to make a plan for volunteering in their community. 

Language Learning Outcomes

Students will...

  1. practice asking and answering interview questions.  
  2. actively participate in conversations through proper responses.
  3. ask and answer a limited variety of questions.

Materials Needed


Define volunteerism

  • Discuss as a class  

Have a class discussion or have them discuss in partnerships.  

  • Why do people volunteer? 
  • Ask students if they have ever been a volunteer before. If so, what did they do? How did they feel? 

Present the list of volunteer opportunities 

  • Have them look over the list with partners and discuss which ones look the most interesting to them and why. 

Activate Background Knowledge

Have students think about the following questions and answer them with a partner. 

  • This activity is to help the students get to know themselves and better understand volunteer opportunities they would enjoy. You can choose to share that reason with them or not. It may be more authentic if they don’t know while answering.  It will also help them answer the interview questions in activity 3.  
    • How would I describe myself?
    • What brings me joy?
    • What’s my biggest accomplishment?
    • What’s my biggest dream?
    • What skills do I have to contribute?
    • What hobbies and interests do I have?
    • How much time do I have to devote to a new project?
    • What are some projects I’ve completed in my life? 

Activity 1: Listening

Before watching the video:

  • Make predictions: what benefits do you think the video will talk about? 
  • What else will the video teach us? 

Have students watch the following video on the benefits of volunteerism (also listed in the materials), and have them discuss the following question as a class or with partners: 

Volunteering - the beneficial side effects


Note: The video is almost 10 minutes long, so if you would like to preview it, and only show segments, you may choose to do that. 

  • Were your predictions correct? 
  • What specific benefits did he mention? 
  • How can we volunteer? 
  • Did you think of anything you can do to volunteer while watching the video? 

Activity 2: Speaking

As stated in the video, in order to enjoy volunteering, people need to find opportunities they enjoy. Present the list of scenarios to students and have them match each person to their ideal volunteering opportunity from the Volunteerism Handout (or one they thought of) based on the description provided.  

  • Students should work in groups of 3-4 
  1. Tony is a 20-year-old man from Washington. He works in a factory, and drives a truck to work every day. He is very funny, and loves making jokes with people. When he is not working, he also enjoys playing board games, cooking, and making films with his friends. He has created some short films and put them on YouTube. He is also a student at a community college studying filmmaking. 
  2. Bob is a dairy farm owner. He lives in Iowa, and runs a dairy farm with about 600 cows. He has two daughters. One of his daughters is the manager of the farm. The other one does not work on the farm. Bob likes to watch football and work on the farm. He also loves talking to people and meeting new people. 
  3. Lucy is from New York. She has four children: three boys and one girl. She loves living in a big city because of all of the restaurants and shopping. She also loves to watch musicals. She enjoys cooking, and her favorite food to cook is Italian food. In the summertime, she loves to go to the beach and sit in the sun. She also loves reading books, doing cross stitch, and spending time with her children. 
  • After they finish, have a class discussion where they explain why they chose that volunteering opportunity. 

Activity 3: Speaking

Students will be interviewing each other to decide what the best volunteering opportunity will be for them. 

  • Go over the prompts on the interview prompt paper to help them understand how to conduct and interview. 
  • Model an example if necessary. 
  • Students interview each other in partnerships 
  • Based on the interview, the interviewer should choose the best volunteering opportunity from the list provided (list of volunteering ideas) for the person they’re interviewing.  
  • Switch rolls in the same partnership.  
  • Have a class discussion about what each interviewer chose for volunteering and why. 


Individually, students should plan a time and place to volunteer. 

  • Based on the results of their interviews, have students choose how they want to volunteer and find the time and place to do so by looking up the place chosen in their interview or using the websites to find a different volunteer opportunity.



Have students share with a partner their plans for volunteering, have them discuss when and where they will be doing volunteerism.


Discuss the following quote:

"Volunteers do not necessarily have the time, they have the heart." - Elizabeth Andrew


If you were able to do volunteerism during this week, ask students to share their experiences with a partner. If they weren't able to, then have students talk with a partner about a volunteering experience they have had in the past. 

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Access it online or download it at https://edtechbooks.org/PositivePsychologyintheClassroom/volunteerism_intermediate_high.