Living to Serve: Instructional Materials | National FFA Organization
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​Living to Serve: Instructional Materials​​​

Living to Serve: Instructional Materials

The Living to Serve (LTS) instructional materials were designed through an intense roundtable meeting with novice and veteran agricultural education teachers. This group determined that service learning engages volunteers, integrates leadership concepts into real life situations, empowers FFA members to make a difference and most importantly helps all parties involved appreciate the impact that service learning can have on the community long-term.

FFA developed materials that could be used at all levels. Lessons were developed with the intent to help advisors plan, launch, and celebrate a service project. The pieces are:

Middle School Lessons

This series of lessons is intended to be an extension of curriculum you are already teaching. The first lesson hopes to provide a transition from the content that has been covered in class such as Animal Science, Horticulture or Natural Resources connecting it to where the students see their ability to serve in that career path and in life! It can be used as a three day set of lessons using Lessons 1, 2 and 4 or as a five day series by adding Lesson 3 and allowing one day for completion of a simple service project.

High School Lessons

This series of lessons is intended to follow your unit of study on the FFA Motto. It will allow you to take your students from “Reciting the Motto” to “Living the Motto.” If you incorporate a service project with lesson 6 the total teaching time will be approximately 8 days. Note: This series will allow your students to meet the Community Service Requirements for their Greenhand Degree!

Needs Exploration Guides

The Needs Exploration Guides are set up in seven different areas that are designed to allow groups to become more familiar with the different areas which their service learning projects could focus. The seven areas are:

When using the Needs Exploration Guides, provide the following directions and students should be able to work independently or in groups through the activities.

  1. Do a keyword internet search
  2. Review definitions and statistics
  3. Do the Motivation and Interest Approach
  4. Answer the Key Questions
  5. Perform a Group Discussion Utilizing the Discussion Scenario
  6. Review the Chapter Spotlight Activities
  7. Brainstorm Ideas for Service Learning Projects
  8. Review the Inspirational Profiles

After students have completed the Needs Exploration Guides they will have a great feel for the need areas and how to address them in your community!

Committee Challenges

The Committee Challenges have been written to be led by either the FFA Advisor or preferably the chapter president or Community Service Committee Chair. Their primary purpose is to take a local Community Service Committee through the entire planning process for a service event. They could also be used in an advanced Agriculture Leadership course as a special unit on Community Development. The Committee Challenges are designed for the committee to do a comprehensive assessment and implementation of a service learning project. There are four basic steps that occur in an effective service learning project: Assessment, Plan, Implement and Reflect. Each of the Committee Challenges fall into one of these four processes and allows for the committee to explore and arrive at decisions critical to a service project. Each Committee Challenge is designed to be implemented during a chapter meeting or some other appropriate time.

Living To Serve Committee Challenge Guide

The Committee Challenges are:

Committee Challenge 1—Focus on Service! (Estimated time: 30 minutes)

Committee Challenge 2—Figuring Out Where to Serve! (Estimated time: 1 hour)

Committee Challenge 3—Time for Action! (Estimated time: 1 hour)

Committee Challenge 4—Creating Your Action Plan! (Estimated time: 2 hours)

Committee Challenge 5—Finalize and Implement! (Estimated time: 1 hour)

Committee Challenge 6—Reflect, Evaluate and Celebrate! (Estimated time: 2 hours)


The Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES) is an agency of the USDA. Its mission is to advance knowledge for agriculture (and other areas) by supporting research, education and extension programs in the Land-Grant University system and other partner organizations including nonprofit associations. Some of the above programs are administered through CSREES.