Volunteerism - Novice High

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
  • Translate if necessary   

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.  
    • What do you like to do? 
    • What makes you happy? 
    • What do you do in your free time? 
    • What do you like to study? 
    • What are your hobbies? 

Activity 1: Listening

Before watching the video:

  • Make predictions: what emotions do people feel when they volunteer?
  • What are some reasons we need to volunteer? 

Have students watch about vol the following video about volunteerism and have them discuss the following question as a class or with partners: 

Volunteering - the beneficial side effects


  • Were your predictions correct? 
  • What emotions do people feel when they volunteer? 
  • What are some reasons we need to volunteer? 

Activity 2: Speaking

Have students work in groups of 2-3, and give each group one of the following scenarios to read together the Volunteerism Handout.

  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 reading, decide as a class what a good volunteer opportunity would be for each scenario. Use the volunteer opportunities listed on the handout under materials for guidance. 

Activity 3: Speaking

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

  • Look at the example on the handout page together. 
  • 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. 

This content is provided to you freely by EdTech Books.

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