Learning to Give, Philanthropy education resources that teach giving and civic engagement

Bridging the Gap by Doing Philanthropy
Lesson 2
From Unit: Bridging the Gap
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Lesson
Handouts
Academic Standards
Philanthropy Framework

Purpose:

Students will engage in a service learning activity, write about it in a journal, an essay and an observation report, and complete a project summarizing their experience. While written for a Christian Middle School, the lesson may be easily adapted for public school use.

Duration:

Eleven to Thirteen Forty-Five Minute Class Periods (approximately once a week for a period of 10 weeks)

Objectives:

The learner will:

  • keep a journal over an extended period of time.
  • write a one-page observation essay.
  • produce a final project that relates to their individual experiences in the service learning activity.
  • describe their experiences and evaluate them in a five-paragraph essay.
  • interact with other students during discussion by sharing statements from their journals.
  • discuss the theme of a poem as it relates to a service learning activity.

Service Experience:

Although this lesson contains a service project example, decisions about service plans and implementation should be made by students, as age appropriate.
Learn more about the stages of service-learning.

The students will be involved in various activities at a nursing home in the community.

Materials:

  • A journal for each student
  • Video tapes and a video camera (optional)
  • Teacher's Pre-Activity Planning Guide (Attachment One)
  • Journal Entry Requirements (Attachment Two)
  • Writing Conference Form (Attachment Three)
  • Nursing Home Projects (Attachment Four)
  • Reflection Essay (Attachment Five)
  • Reflection Essay Assessment Rubric (Attachment Six)
  • Journal Assessment Rubric (Attachment Seven)
  • Observation Report Assessment Rubric (Attachment Eight)
  • Project Assessment Rubric (Attachment Nine)
Handout 1
Teacher's Pre-Activity Planning Guide
Handout 2
Journal Entry Requirements
Handout 3
Writing Conference Form
Handout 4
Nursing Home Projects
Handout 5
Reflection Essay
Handout 6
Reflection Essay Assessment Rubric
Handout 7
Journal Assessment Rubric
Handout 8
Observation Report Assessment Rubric
Handout 9
Project Assessment Rubric

Instructional Procedure(s):

Anticipatory Set:
Ask students to close their eyes and form a mental picture of whatever comes to their minds when they hear the term “nursing home.” With their eyes still closed, ask them to make a “thumbs up” sign if the image is a positive one. If the image is a negative one, have them make a “thumbs down” sign. While their hands are still in this position, tell students to open their eyes and look at what the class perception of nursing homes happens to be.

 

Week One:

  • Announce to the class that during the next card-marking period students will be involved in an academic-based service-learning experience at a nursing home. The students will keep journals related to their weekly experience at the nursing home and these journals will be turned in at the end of the marking period. The writing will include polished pieces as well as unpolished pieces and be evaluated. Give each student a duo-tang folder with pockets. Add twenty sheets of notebook paper. This is the journal which students will keep, related to their experiences at the nursing home. Appropriate pictures may be drawn on the outside of the folder. Pictures and words on the folder should relate to the experience and/or the theme of philanthropy. Instruct the students to date each journal entry, beginning with the date of this lesson. Give each student a copy of Journal Entry Requirements (see Attachment Two).

  • Begin the journal by having students free-write for five to seven minutes. Students should write down everything they know about nursing homes. Have students share what they wrote in groups of three or four. They should add to their own entry anything they learned from other students in their group. Bring the class back to a whole group format and discuss the information they shared and why they had their thumbs “up” or “down” in the initial activity.

  • Ask if any students can share a story about times when they visited a nursing home. If possible, ask the students to recall the name of the nursing home, why he/she went to the nursing home, who was visited, who went with him/her, why the person visited was in the nursing home, and describe the experience using three adjectives. Have students add the new information to their journals.

  • Read several scripture passages with the students and discuss why a Christian should visit a nursing home and care for the elderly. Discuss Jesus' example of caring for others and answer the following question during class discussion: "What would Jesus do for the elderly?" Possible passages include:
    • Leviticus 19:32
    • Proverbs 14:21, 31
    • Luke 6:31-36
    • Matthew 25:36
    • Galatians 5:6b
    • Corinthians 13
    • Mark 10:43-45

  • If it has not already been done, this is a good time to have the principal and nursing home representative discuss the upcoming project (see Attachment One: Teacher's Pre-Activity Planning Guide). Explain the details and expectations of the academic service-learning project. Hand out the scheduling options. Send the scheduling handout and parent letter home with the students. Ask the students to return the scheduling handout within three days. Tell students that the schedules will be numbered in the order they are returned and scheduling will begin with number one.

  • End the class by pointing out that this opportunity will help students act on what they believe is an important part of Christian living - serving others. They are beginning to fulfill the mission statement of their school. Since Jesus no longer lives on earth, they are to do His work in the world. Close the class by reading Matthew 25:31-46. (This could become the scriptural passage for the project.)

  • Assignment: Have students write the following question in their journals: "Why should I care about helping the elderly?" Ask students to write an answer that shows some deep thinking and reflects the class discussion. The reflection should be at least five sentences long.

 

Week Two:

Note-All lessons from this point will be held at the end of the week after all students have been to the nursing home during that week.

  • Instruct students at the beginning of the week to make notes in their journals about what they did the first day at the nursing home. This page should be dated and labeled with a title (possible title: “Bridging the Gap” or “Serving Others”).

  • At the beginning of the first class after all students have reported to the nursing home, provide time for individual students to relate orally what they experienced during their first visit. Students should refer to the notes in their journals. Give students 10 to 15 minutes to write two paragraphs, written in the first person. The first paragraph should contain an orderly account of what he/she did the first day. The second paragraph should be the student's reaction to this experience. This paragraph could include answers to the following questions:
    • What did you like about your first day?
    • What didn’t you like?
    • What did you notice about life in a nursing home?
    • What do you look forward to doing during your next visit?

  • Assignment: Students will write an observation report on a patient or employee at the nursing home whom they will see over a period of time. Students should include the following details in their journals:
    • who is the person being observed
    • reasons for selecting this person
    • activities of the person being observed
    • information about this person's surroundings or environment
    • any interactions, if any, the student has with the person being observed

  • There is no need to interview the person. Students should be keen observers and carefully notice details to include in their notes. Some suggestions for notes can include:
    • For an employee:
      • the work being done
      • the importance of the work
      • the person’s attitude
      • how often the job needs to be done
      • how it benefits the residents
    • For a resident:
      • the room the resident lives in
      • the resident's attitude
      • what the resident can or cannot do
      • what the resident is doing


Week Three:

  • Have students work in partners to discuss their observation notes. Each student should suggest three ideas that would improve their partner's report and write these suggestions in their partner's journal. Suggestions might include: "show" as well as tell the reader what you observe by…
    • including a description of the setting
    • describing the person
    • including sensory details that create a picture for the reader such as sounds, smells, colors, etc.
    • including the writer's own thoughts or opinions about his or her observations
    • listing actions that occurred
    • including a quote

  • Hold a class discussion, putting everyone's ideas on the board. Have students decide what they will observe carefully during their next visit to the nursing home to improve the written observation. Students should record at least two additional ideas in their journals.

  • Assignment: Continue observation notes. This will be the last week to record information.

 

Week Four:

  • Give students time in class to write a rough draft of their observation report.

 

Week Five:

  • Give each student a copy of Writing Conference Form (see Attachment Three). Tell students to place their sheet in their own journals. Put students in groups of three, have them exchange rough drafts and proofread each other's drafts. Each student should complete the Writing Conference Form for two reports other than his/her own.

  • Have each student work on correcting his/her own drafts. Final copies, neatly written in the journal, are due next week.

  • Have students write a half-page journal entry reflecting on their experience at the nursing home up to this point. Students should answer one or more of the following questions:
    • How is the work I am doing helping someone?
    • Why is it important for me to help others in this way?
    • How is the work I am doing affecting me?
    • How am I helping my community?

  • Assignment: Ask students to have a parent complete the Writing Conference Form for their observation report. Students should then make final revisions, write a final draft of the observation report and finish the journal entry if it was not completed in class.

 

Week Six:

  • Hand out options for a final project (see Attachment Four: Nursing Home Projects). Inform students that they will be writing a plan in their journals for the project. This plan should include the project they chose, with whom they will be working, and exactly what they will be doing to complete the requirements of the project. Every week until the project is due they will write a half to one page progress report in their journals.

  • Read the poem Not in Vain by Emily Dickinson to the students:

If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain:
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.

  • Discuss the poem in relation to the nursing home experience.

  • Two or three days later: Give the students five to ten minutes to write their final project plan in their journals. This gives them time to decide on a project and how they will complete it.

Weeks Seven through Nine:

  • Give students five to ten minutes to write a progress report in their journals on the following question: "What have I done this week for my project?" Give students the opportunity to ask questions and voice problems or concerns with their projects. Allow an extra five to ten minutes for writing a plan or list of what should be accomplished on the project in the next week. Allow time for students to work on their projects in class.

Note: By week nine students will no longer be going to the nursing home unless they choose to continue to do so on their own time.

  • Assignment: Complete the project. Set due date.

Week Ten:

 

  • Have students display their projects for the class.
  • Close by reading Matthew 25:31-46.

Assessment:

  • Students will write a five-paragraph essay that is a reflection of their experiences. See Reflection Essay (Attachment Five) and Reflection Essay Assessment Rubric (Attachment Six).
  • Students will turn in the completed journal. See Journal Assessment Rubric (Attachment Seven).
  • Students will turn in an observation report. See Observation Report Assessment Rubric (Attachment Eight).
  • Students will complete one project individually or with a group of students. See Project Assessment Rubric (Attachment Nine).

Cross-Curriculum Extensions:

If a student desires to continue his or her service at the nursing home, this can be arranged after school hours or during the summer months.

Bibliographical References:

  • Kinsley, Carol and Kate McPherson. Enriching the Curriculum Through Service Learning. Virginia: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 1995.
  • Rief, Linda. Seeking Diversity. Portsmouth: Heinemann Educational Books, 1992.
  • Sebranek, Patrick, et al. Write Source 2000. Wisconsin: Write Source Educational Publishing House, 1993.

Lesson Developed By:

Janice Ubels
Hudsonville Christian Schools
Hudsonville Christian Middle School
Hudsonville, MI 49426

Handouts:

Handout 1Print Handout 1

Teacher's Pre-Activity Planning Guide

This project involves a great deal of careful planning to insure its success. Provided below are recommendations of steps to follow in preparing for the experiential component of this lesson. Of course, steps may vary, depending upon the local district guidelines.
  • Meet with the building principal to obtain permission for the activity.
  • Call a local nursing home and speak with the activities director concerning the feasibility of middle school students coming during the day to do volunteer work. If possible, choose a location within a short walk from the school. If the location is quite a distance from your school, make plans for transporting the students.
  • Meet with the activities director at the nursing home to discuss the time of day students would be needed, the types of service students could provide, and planned classroom activities that would stem from the nursing home contact. Discuss how students would be supervised and how many students would be needed at any given time. Prepare a rough draft of a weekly schedule including times, type of service needed, and numbers of students needed.
  • If students will be out of the building at various times throughout the day, it is important to get the support of their other teachers. Write a letter to the teachers and/or meet with them with the principal. This gives the teachers an opportunity to ask questions and voice concerns.
  • If necessary, obtain approval of the school board.
  • To build enthusiasm for the project among the students, invite the principal and/or activities director from the nursing home to visit the class. Ask the principal to speak about this opportunity to provide service, thus showing support. Introduce the activities director who will explain the work that will be done. Discuss the project with the students, explaining how the schedule and assignments will work.
  • Inform the parents by sending home a letter with the schedule of planned service times. Ask parents to discuss the activity with their son or daughter and select the preferred service time.
  • Build the schedule based on students' preferences. Send a final copy to parents and to the activities director of the nursing home. Make sure the schedule has been checked for days when students will not be available. Give the teachers a copy of the schedule so they will be aware when students are out of class. Give the principal and school secretary a copy. The school secretary should call the nursing home if a student is absent and will not be coming.
For this set of lessons, students go to the nursing home once a week during a nine-week period. One language arts class a week is devoted to discussion and a writing activity related to this experience.

Handout 2Print Handout 2

Journal Entry Requirements

Directions:
Keep your journal neat and organized. Date and number all entries. Give the entries titles.

  • Task 1: Write down everything you know about nursing homes. You should have a minimum of ten statements. (first class)
  • Task 2: Write the following question in your journal: “Why should I care about helping the elderly?” Using one of the following scripture passages, support the fact that God expects Christians to care for the elderly.
    • Leviticus 19:32
    • Proverbs 14:21, 31
    • Luke 6:31-36
    • Matthew 25:36
    • Galatians 5:6b
    • Corinthians 13
    • Mark 10:43-45
    Write an answer that shows some thought and is a minimum of five sentences.
  • Tasks 3 and 4: Record notes about your first day and write an orderly account of what you did the first day at the nursing home. It should be a minimum of half a page in length.
  • Task 5: Write a reaction to this first experience. It should be a minimum of half a page in length. Keep the following questions in mind:
    • What did you like about your first day?
    • What didn’t you like?
    • What did you notice about life in a nursing home?
    • What do you look forward to doing during your next visit?
  • Tasks 6 and 7: Record notes and write an observation report. Write a double-spaced rough draft, proof-read it, and rewrite a final copy in your best handwriting. It should be at least one page in length.
  • Task 8: Write a half-page reflection evaluating your experience at the nursing home up to this point.
  • Task 9: Write a half-to-one-page-plan for the project you chose. Keep the following questions in mind:
    • What project will you be doing?
    • Who will be working with you?
    • What will you be doing to complete the requirements?
    • What equipment or supplies will you need?
  • Task 10: Write a half-page progress report indicating what you accomplished this past week.
  • Task 11: Write a half-page plan of what you will accomplish next week.
  • Tasks 12 and 13: Write a half -page progress report and a half page plan for next week.
  • Task 14: Write your third and final progress report.
  • Task 15: Write the rough draft of your five-paragraph essay in your journal.

Handout 3Print Handout 3

Writing Conference Form

Directions for evaluator:
Begin by carefully reading the article. Then complete each of the following statements. Be sure your suggestions are easy to understand. Sign your name next to your comments.

  1. I like ________________________________________________
    ______________________________________________________
  2. I wonder ________________________________________________
    ______________________________________________________
  3. I suggest ________________________________________________
    ______________________________________________________
  4. I like ________________________________________________
    ____________________________________________________
  5. I wonder ________________________________________________
    ______________________________________________________
  6. I suggest ________________________________________________
    ______________________________________________________
  7. I like ________________________________________________
    ____________________________________________________
  8. I wonder ________________________________________________
    ______________________________________________________
  9. I suggest ________________________________________________
    ______________________________________________________

Handout 4Print Handout 4

Nursing Home Projects

Directions:
Choose one of the following projects. Make sure that it is a project you would enjoy doing and one that relates well to your experience at the nursing home. It should include three reasons why the work you did was important. You will present your project to other students.

  1. Interview the person you observed at the nursing home. Plan the questions in advance, get the teacher's approval for the questions, write them in your journal, and record the answers. The following ideas may be included in the interview:

      For a resident:
    • the person’s history
    • what the city or town was like when he/she was growing up
    • what a school day was like when he/she was in middle school
    • inventions that made a difference in his/her life
    • how children played indoors and outdoors when he/she was young
    • volunteer opportunities that the person was involved in as a child and/or adult

      For an employee:
    • who, what, where, when, why and how questions that relate to the employee's work at the home
    • what he/she knows about the history of the nursing home
    • his/her feelings about the presence of volunteers in the nursing home.

      Select one the following formats for presenting the information you collect:
    • Video tape the interview and show it in class.
    • Write a story about the person and illustrate it (picture book format).
    • Make a poster displaying what you learned (include pictures and explanations).
    • Put up a bulletin board in the hallway of the home or the school featuring the person you interviewed (include pictures and write an essay or poem.)
    • Make a pamphlet about the nursing home and feature the resident/worker you interviewed.
    • Write a narrative poem which includes the information you have gathered.
    • Write an essay or poem comparing your life with the life of the resident when he/she was your age.
  2. Write a seven-day devotional booklet that could be used with the residents. This could be done with a group of three students by dividing the responsibilities.

      Book:
    • Include a cover with a title, illustration and/or Bible verse.
    • Include a title page with the name of the school, date, and your name.

      Devotional:
    • Choose a theme for the seven days (optional).
    • Include a title for each day.
    • Include a Bible passage for each day.
    • Include a meditation with a short story for each day.
    • Include a prayer for each day.
    • Include a thought for the day (optional).

      Theme ideas to get you started:
    • Beauty of Creation
    • Importance of Love
    • Forgiveness of Sins
    • Fruits of the Spirit
    • Proverbs
    • Season of Lent and Easter
    • Season of Advent and Christmas
    • Encouraging One Another
    • Psalms
    • Giving and Sharing

  3. Write a story for the school or community newspaper about your experience at the nursing home.

  4. Get together with three other students and make an exhibit about the nursing home, the work you did, and the people you worked with there. Display the exhibit at school to encourage others to volunteer. This exhibit could include poems, stories, pictures, pamphlets from the nursing home, etc.

  5. Get together with three other students and plan a chapel service or assembly for students to promote the need to do volunteer work in our community. This assembly could include a Bible passage, skit, panel of students with personal stories about the nursing home experience, songs, prayer, poems, a speaker from another community program welcoming volunteers, etc.

  6. Make a video or scrapbook of the work you performed at the nursing home. Prepare a talk that you can include on the video or give orally to the class explaining what is shown.

Handout 5Print Handout 5

Reflection Essay

Directions:
This essay must be a minimum of 500 words and five paragraphs in length. It should be written in the first person.

Paragraph One:

This is your introduction. This paragraph should be a summary of the your experience. It should include what you did and who you helped. The final sentence of this paragraph should be a transitional sentence which tells the reader what to expect in the rest of the essay.

Paragraph Two:
Begin with a transitional sentence. This paragraph should give three things you learned from this experience and it should explain three ways this experience changed you. It should also include what you liked best about this experience and what you liked the least.

Paragraph Three:
Begin with a transitional sentence. This paragraph should focus on the resident or worker you observed or interviewed and three ways this experience affected him or her. You could include a quote in this paragraph.

Paragraph Four:
Begin with a transitional sentence. This paragraph should tell whether or not you think you will continue to find ways to help others and, if you do, who you might serve. It should also include advice to others about whether or not it is a good idea to get involved in serving others in the community and why. Give three reasons to support your answer. You should support your ideas with at least two Bible passages.

Paragraph Five:
This is your conclusion. You should summarize your ideas and leave the reader with a final message. This paragraph should be a minimum of three sentences in length.

Handout 6Print Handout 6

Reflection Essay Assessment Rubric

POINTS DESCRIPTION
3 In order to receive a 3-point score, the response must:
  • Include three things learned from the nursing home experience.
  • Include three ways the nursing home experience changed the student.
  • Include three ways doing philanthropy at the nursing home affected the people at the home.
  • Include three reasons why people should get involved in helping others.
  • Show use of the writing process by including a rough draft, evidence of proofreading, and a final copy.
  • Demonstrate a good grasp of standard writing mechanics by having so few errors that the reader can easily overlook them.
  • Be neat and be completed on time.
2 In order to receive a 2-point score, the response must:
  • Include two things learned from the nursing home experience.
  • Include two ways the nursing home experience changed the student.
  • Include two ways doing philanthropy at the nursing home affected the people at the home.
  • Include two reasons why people should get involved in helping others.
  • Have one of the requirements (a rough draft, evidence of proofreading, and a final copy) missing.
  • Show reasonable control over a limited range of standard writing conventions although errors are sometimes distracting and impair readability.
  • Need improved neatness, or be one or two days late.
1 In order to receive a 1-point score, the response must:
  • Include one thing learned from the nursing home experience.
  • Include two ways the nursing home experience changed the student.
  • Include one way doing philanthropy at the nursing home affected the people at the home.
  • Include one reason why people should get involved in helping others.
  • Have two of the requirements (a rough draft, evidence of proofreading, and a final copy) missing.
  • Have repeated errors that distract the reader and make the text difficult to read.
  • Need a significant improvement in neatness, or be three or four days late.
0 Response shows no evidence of any elements, or does not give evidence of an understanding of the concept.

Handout 7Print Handout 7

Journal Assessment Rubric

POINTS DESCRIPTION
3 In order to receive a 3-point score, the response must:
  • Include a date, number and title for each entry, or be missing any of the above for one entry.
  • Include all fifteen entries.
  • Be the required length and/or spacing, or one entry falls short of the requirements.
  • Express the student's thoughts and clearly reflect that the student is forming a positive opinion about helping the elderly (entries #2 and #4).
  • Demonstrate a good grasp of standard writing mechanics by having so few errors that the reader can easily overlook them.
  • Be neat and be completed on time.
2 In order to receive a 2-point score, the response must:
  • Be missing a date, number and/or title for two to four entries.
  • Be missing one to three entries.
  • Fall short of the requirements for length or spacing for two to four entries.
  • Be missing one of the requirements regarding expression of the student's thoughts and the formation of a positive opinion about helping the elderly (entries #2 and #4).
  • Show reasonable control over a limited range of standard writing conventions although errors are sometimes distracting and impair readability.
  • Require improved neatness, or be one or two days late.
1 In order to receive a 1-point score, the response must:
  • Be missing a date, number and/or title for five to eight entries.
  • Be missing four to six entries.
  • Fall short of the requirements for length or spacing for five to eight entries.
  • Be missing the requirement regarding expression of the student's thoughts and be unclear about forming a positive opinion about helping the elderly (entries #2 and #4).
  • Require a significant improvement in neatness or be three or four days late.
0 Response shows no evidence of any elements, or does not give evidence of an understanding of the concept.

Handout 8Print Handout 8

Observation Report Assessment Rubric

POINTS DESCRIPTION
3 In order to receive a 3-point score, the response must:
  • Enable the reader to imagine what the writer observed, including a setting, character, and sensory details.
  • Be the required length of five paragraphs and be lacking no more than one requirement of the reflection.
  • Include a rough draft, evidence of proofreading, and a final copy.
  • Demonstrate a good grasp of standard writing mechanics by having so few errors that the reader can easily overlook them.
  • Be neat and be completed on time.
2 In order to receive a 2-point score, the response must:
  • Enable the reader to somewhat imagine what the writer observed. The setting, character or sensory details are lacking.
  • Fall short of the requirements for length for one or two paragraphs, or be lacking two or three of the requirements of the reflection.
  • Be missing one of the requirements (a rough draft, evidence of proofreading, and a final copy).
  • Show reasonable control over a limited range of standard writing conventions although errors are sometimes distracting and impair readability.
  • Need improved neatness or be one or two days late.
1 In order to receive a 1-point score, the response must:
  • Not allow the reader to imagine the setting and character, or the sensory details are missing.
  • Fall short of the requirements for length for three or four entries, or be lacking four or five requirements of the reflection .
  • Be missing two of the requirements (a rough draft, evidence of proofreading, and a final copy).
  • Have repeated errors that distract the reader and make the text difficult to read.
  • Need a significant improvement in neatness or be three or four days late.
0 Response shows no evidence of any elements, or does not give evidence of an understanding of the concept.

Handout 9Print Handout 9

Project Assessment Rubric

POINTS DESCRIPTION
3 In order to receive a 3-point score, the response must:
  • Include three reasons why the work done at the nursing home was important.
  • Be neat and be completed on time.
  • Teacher's option (to fit the specific project completed)
2 In order to receive a 2-point score, the response must:
  • Include two reasons why the work done at the nursing home was important.
  • Need improved neatness or be one or two days late.
  • Teacher's option (to fit the specific project completed)
1 In order to receive a 1-point score, the response must:
  • Include two reasons why the work done at the nursing home was important.
  • Need a significant improvement in neatness or be three or four days late.
  • Teacher's option (to fit the specific project completed)
0 Response shows no evidence of any elements, or does not give evidence of an understanding of the concept.

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