1. Have children in older classes read to children in younger classes. This may simply mean taking a few story books across the hall and spending a little time with the younger kids. The littler ones love it and it gives the older ones great practice improving their reading skills.
2. Collect items to donate. Simply decide what type of items you want to collect and who you'll donate the items to when you're done. Gently-used books can be donated to libraries, hospitals, or care centers. Toys can be taken to domestic violence shelters or children's wards in hospitals. Canned foods can be collected for food pantries and soup kitchens. Old eye glasses can be donated to Lions Club. Even monetary donations can be collected to give to organizations like Make A Wish.
3. Have each student bring in blank greeting cards. Spend a few minutes writing personal greetings or inspirational quotes inside each. Sign them and deliver them to patients in the hospital or in care centers. These could also be mailed overseas to troops in Iraq or Afghanistan.
4. Each day have several students announce over the school's speaker system what they plan to do to make a difference on Saturday. They can ask others to join the cause. According to USA Weekend, October 16-18, 2009, "studies show that nearly half of all people who volunteer started because they were asked to by someone they know."
5. Have a quick bake sale. Each student in your class or organization brings baked food items. Sell them in the cafeteria during lunch or between classes. Donate the money to a worthwhile organization.
Again, as I said yesterday, there are many more ideas on the Make A Difference Day website, but these are the ones that can easily be done by a classroom of students in a short amount of time.
Also, with the H1N1 virus spreading as it is, check with hospitals or care centers before you visit. They may not be allowing visitors.