Community service learning program engages with local fifth-graders

Photo by Alexandra Biedenbach

Wayne State students joined fifth-graders at Barnard Elementary School in Troy recently, as part of the Children's Literature Service Learning Community. The students, led by Dr. Nicole Wilson, Professor of Children's Literature, engaged the fifth-graders in critical thinking activities, then worked collaboratively with them to create shareable digital projects that communicated the roles of emotion in conflict resolution.

"Not only does it give the Wayne State students a chance to understand and use the information" from their own studies, said Alexandra Biedenbach, herself a Wayne State student, "it gives them a chance to view it in motion."

Sponsored by the Learning Community program at Wayne State, the Children's Literature Service Learning Community provides students a chance to apply course content to community service opportunities outside of the classroom. In class, students analyze children's literature through close reading and research; outside, they apply the knowledge they acquire in class running one or two day enrichment camps at tri-county elementary schools.

The discussions at Barnard centered around the Disney/Pixar film "Inside Out," in a plan created by Wayne State in coordination with Barnard principal Melanie Morey.

"It's been very interesting to see what emotions the kids came up with that weren't in the film," Barnard teacher Taryn Huang told School Life Troy, a website dedicated to K-12 education in Troy, Michigan.

"It also gives the kids a chance to access and think about emotions that maybe they didn't think about before," Biedenbach added.

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Community service learning program engages with local fifth-graders 11/18/2016
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