Stage 5 – Demonstrate

What a story! Think of all you have done and all you have learned! You put your plan into action and have seen the results. Now it’s time for demonstration—the stage when you show others what you’ve learned, what can be done, and what you did in your well-planned contribution to the community.

This demonstration of your service-learning can take any form you like: letters, articles, pamphlets, artistic displays, performances, or media presentations.

To help you make the most of your demonstration, answer these questions:

  • Who is your audience?
  • What do you most want to tell them about what you learned and how you learned it?
  • What do you most want to tell them about how you provided service?
  • Are there any community partners who you might like to participate in the demonstration?
  • What form of demonstration would you like to use?

Remember Skills and Talents:

Think about the skills and talents of your group and use as many as possible as you come up with ways to demonstrate. Be sure to incorporate information and the processes used during all the different stages.

Include Images:

Have you heard the expression, “a picture is worth a thousand words?” Capturing moments all along the service-learning process has great value when you arrive at demonstration. Photography and video provide a storyboard for getting across what happened in both the learning and the service.

Be Dynamic:

Use all your creative energy to make your show-and-tell as lively as possible Avoid the typical “This is what we did” spiel, and instead use drama (act out turtles in danger), create a mock game show (quiz your audience about ocean acidification), do a choral reading (unexpected), or stage a surprise entrance (energy cheerleaders).

Inform Policy Makers:

Always think about who needs to know the information you learned and the contribution you made. Have youth ever influenced and made policy? Yes, and you can be among them. Trust that you have seen and done something of value. Small steps matter—they add up to big changes. Tell elected officials your story and you will soon learn you have influence in all kinds of places!

Be Media Savvy:

Find a public relations expert to be among your community partners –and learn how to compose a press release or submit a news story. Write in your school or local paper. Find out how to share good news on local radio or television. Create a website to keep your actions going. Many social networks and websites seek write-ups or video from youth and want to recognize a job well done.

Sharing what you have learned and accomplished is a way to inform and inspire others. Now is the time to shout your story from the rooftops! During this stage of service-learning be bold and proud. The world wants to know what you did, how you did it, who was involved, what you learned, and the results. So tell your story!

CITATION: From The Complete Guide to Service Learning: Proven, Practical Ways to Engage Students in Civic Responsibility, Academic Curriculum, & Social Action (Revised & Updated Second Edition) by Cathryn Berger Kaye, M.A., copyright © 2010. Free Spirit Publishing Inc., Minneapolis, MN; 800-735-7323; This page may be reproduced for use within an individual school or district. For all other uses,