One or Two Forty-Five Minute Class Periods Plus Outside Time
The learners will:
- identify “senior citizens” from the era before Reconstruction who were considered heroes by their country and explain why.
- interview senior citizens and write short biographies of them.
- explain how small acts of philanthropy contribute to the common good.
After interviews, students will volunteer to help a senior in some way (e.g., taking out the garbage, carrying groceries, moving a heavy item, reading to them, etc.). After viewing this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKDXuCE7LeQ about a man responding to music, students may be inspired to load up an MP3 player or burn a CD with the seniors' favorite music from the 30s, 40s or 50s. Students will help the seniors with a service and then reflect about how their acts contributed to the common good.
Ask students to reflect on a time in American history before 1877 and think of famous men and women who were “senior citizens,” yet performed an act for their country that could be considered heroic. Tell the learners to come to the chalkboard or overhead and write the names. Discuss their heroic deeds and how their contributions contributed to the common good.
The short biographies of the senior citizens and presentations to the class about the experience may be used as assessments. The learners may also be asked to compare or contrast one historic senior citizen’s actions with that of a modern senior citizen who contributed/contributes to the common good of the community.
If possible, students should also conduct an interview with a senior citizen who is a member of the family, a neighbor, a grandparent of a friend or someone from the community that they know. A short biography should also be written and an offer of service made, if circumstances permit. Students should reflect on whether their offer of service to this person should be a “one-time” offer or should be extended periodically.
Lesson Developed By:Michael Vasich
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