This special is one of fifteen Service Learning Standards Based Models For more Service Learning activities Connecting Classrooms~Communities~Careers
visit or contact  Barbara Locurto  IMPACT II @ School-to-Career
Boston Public Schools

Human Needs

I Remember It Well
Across the Generations

Arts, English Language Arts, Social Studies, Science


elementary students
Communities elders at Alzheimer's center
Careers education, health care, social services


When do memories speak?
Children and elders who regularly interact with each other learn to respect each other. Several of Boston's intergenerational service learning projects feature e-mail correspondence. Others include opportunities for seniors to visit school events or performances. Observing senior centers allows students to develop insight on the workings of other institutions. The following model evolves from a children's book about a hundred year old woman's box of coins and her great grandnephew's reactions. Fifth graders create individual decoupage boxes and deposit artifacts recalling special experiences. They record their stories about these symbols and begin to routinely visit an Alzheimer's center. Forming partnerships with the elders, children share their boxes and stories with senior partners, and encourage them to tell their own stories. With each account, listeners and narrators deposit appropriate items in the boxes. Students transcribe and word process the stories back in school. To coordinate personal dates with recent history, partners collaborate on calendars and timelines. Planning an I Remember It Well! day, students reread stories, review timelines and present treasure boxes and Memory Books to their new friends. 

Resources The Hundred Penny Box, Sharon Bell Mathis; "I Remember," Cried Grandmother Pinky, Jan Wahl & Arden Johnson; If I Forget, You Remember, Carol Lynch Williams; A Window of Time, Audrey Leighton & Rhonda Kyrias
Technology research Alzheimer's disease on Internet, word process calendar & stories, use computer graphics 
Web Sites  The Alzheimer's Association 

Community Partners
Partners Generations United, Alzheimer's center, Mayor's Commission on Elder Affairs

Learning Standards Classroom Activities Service Activities
o Connect reading with own & others' experiences (ELA) 
o Obtain information from a variety of sources (SS)
o Read & discuss The Hundred Penny  Box & other books about elderly memory loss
o Share stories of experiences with elder relatives 
o Research Alzheimer's disease on the Internet 
o Decide to visit a nearby Alzheimer's center 
 o Contact Alzheimer's center personnel & describe plan
o Invite center's social service representative to class for discussion 
o Report on interview with a practicing or applied scientist (S)
o Employ arts to communicate beliefs, experiences, ideas & imagination
o Engage in effective discussions (ELA)  
o Interview center's representative on expectations & appropriate behavior
o Prepare decoupage treasure boxes 
o Create artifacts recalling personal stories
o Compile & word  process personal stories in a Memory Book 
o Record reflections in electronic journals 
o Word process & send residents introductory notes with personal descriptions of class members
o Continue to record & share reflections on aging with classmates & family 
o Use various formats & technology to complete & enhance work (ELA) 
o Plan & schedule visits to the center
o Create & print computer calendar noting schedule for visits to center 
o Send calendar schedule to principal, center & prospective senior partners 
o Understand & use the writing process effectively (ELA)
o Construct timelines with proper sequence & spaced intervals & accurately interpret data (SS)
o Transcribe their partners' stories & include them in the Memory Book
o Use stories as reference points to create personalized timelines
o Design & publish final copies of Memory Book 
 o Present personalized timelines to elders 
o Explain treasure boxes & deposit appropriate items in them
o Discuss & compare chronology of personal stories with historical events
o Collaborate on project that applies learning to educate others 

o Plan an I Remember It Well! day at center
o Invite school, parents & community leaders 
o Present Memory Book & treasure boxes to seniors on I Remember It Well! day