This lesson will define and give examples of terms related to philanthropy and the common good. Learners will examine events that led to the development of philanthropic organizations prior to 1763.
Three Forty-Five Minute Class Periods
The learner will:
- define philanthropy as the giving of a person's time, talent and/or treasure for others and taking action for the common good.
- define common good as citizens taking action for the benefit of all.
- define nonprofit/independent sector as organizations which are not part of the government and are not private businesses.
- describe three organizations in colonial times that grew as a result of critical changes in American society.
- develop a timeline that links events and philanthropic organizations during colonial times.
Write the words," paid" and "unpaid" on the chalkboard or butcher paper. As learners enter the classroom, pass out sealed envelopes that contain a 3x5-index card or sticky note folded with a job title. Some of the jobs you may wish to list could include dishwasher, firefighter, teacher, librarian, messenger, police officer or watch duty, cook, gardener, etc. (Attachment One).
Teacher Note: Adapt this list as appropriate, deleting or adding some of your own titles. However, be sure to have a different job for each learner.
Tell the learners to wait to open the envelopes until instructed by you.
- Direct learners to words paid / unpaid on the chalkboard or paper. Ask learners to define the terms and give examples of jobs in each category. Discuss the importance of jobs people do where they don’t get paid. Allow two to three minutes for learner comments. Write notes from the discussion on the board or paper.
- Tell the learners to open their envelopes. Instruct learners to decide where their "jobs" should be placed on the display. Direct groups of no more than three or four learners to go the board or paper prepared earlier to post their "job" card. After all the cards have been posted, divide the learners into groups of three or four for a three to five minute discussion regarding paid versus unpaid "jobs".
- Refer to the pictures of colonial society. Develop an understanding for the conditions under which people lived and worked together. Say, "The colonial period was from 1564-1763. As you can tell from the pictures, many of the conveniences that we have were not available then. However, people were able to survive and do for others as volunteers giving of their time, talent, or treasure. Giving of a person's time, talent or treasure is known as philanthropy. They contributed to the common good when citizens acted to put something in place for the benefit of all." (See www.learningtogive.org). Make sure learners understand the vocabulary terms. Ask learners how philanthropy to enhance the common good is of any benefit to the community, state, or nation. Ask for examples to reinforce their points of view.
- Tell learners that they will be working in small groups. Stress the importance of employing good listening skills. Explain that each group is to discuss the jobs that were posted on the display and decide which were needed in colonial times. Circulate in the room to monitor the discussions.
- At the end of discussion time, ask, "Did you hear a comment about a job that may have caused you to change your mind about its category? Why? Would you add any jobs to the list?"
- Explain to the learners that in colonial society not all "jobs" were done for pay, just as occurs in a family (establish the "family" connection). Go on to develop the need in society for the independent sector. The independent sector includes all organizations which are not part of the government and are not private businesses. They are important because they provide those services which cannot be done or are not done by the government or business. (See www.learningtogive.org or reference in Bibliographical Reference to access information for definitions.)
- Explain to the learners that there were formal organizations that existed in the independent sector before 1763. Use Nonprofit/Independent Sector in America Prior to 1763 (Attachment Two) to give learners an idea of the types of organizations that were created. (Note: It is not necessary to share all the information with learners. Use it as a Teacher Reference.) Allow no more than two minutes to go over the information. Ask the learners if any of them have heard about the organizations listed. If yes, ask what they know and where they have heard it before. Again, two to three minutes are sufficient for this discussion.
- Arrange learners into teams of two. Inform learners that research will be needed to uncover historic events which may have tied various organizations together during colonial times. Instruct learners that they will be responsible for taking notes which should include:
- the event
- the name of the organization
- reason why the organization grew.
- Distribute Researching Organizations (Attachment Three). Allow the rest of the period to be used for research. Provide learners with Web site www.cr.nps.gov, and www.learningtogive.org. (Demonstrate how to access the timeline from the Learning to Give Web site so that learners can expand research if they wish.) Resource material may also be made available within the classroom. At the close of the class period, collect Researching Organizations (Attachment Three).
- As the teacher, summarize and make copies of the information from Researching Organizations (Attachment Three) to be passed out the next day of the lesson.
- Ask if any of the information that was gathered the previous day was different or interesting. Allow five minutes for this discussion. Pass out summarized copies of Researching Organizations (Attachment Three) and review the information with the learners. Review the meaning of independent sector and analyze whether each organization listed on the summary sheet is in the government, business or independent sector.
- Explain that the learners will be constructing timelines. Review timelines, if this has been taught previously, or introduce the components of timelines. Demonstrate variations of timelines, using something with which the learners can relate, e.g., birth to present grade level or use the timelines on www.learningtogive.org.
- Emphasize that individual timelines should be used to organize the information that has been provided to date. It, too, can be used to expand the knowledge obtained while placing data about dates, organizations, reasons for development, and events that sparked the idea in an easier to understand format.
- Provide learners with Timelines (Attachment Four) to transform the information into a timeline. Explain the rubric for scoring before the learners begin working.
- Discuss with the learners the importance of all the organizations they have discovered. Explain that some were abandoned because the need was no longer there. Collect Timelines (Attachment Four).
- Tell the learners that they are going to write an essay entitled, "Why were organizations needed to help during colonial times?" for a homework assignment. It should not be any longer than three paragraphs. Explain that the tools to be used will consist of the notes they collected or researched and any attachments that they may have. They may also discuss the topic with a parent or guardian for additional viewpoints. Expand the assignment by telling them that they should convey their own personal viewpoint (thoughts) about two organizations, reasons for their existence, its present name, and what each offered to tie it to the common good. (Use the rubrics as your assessment tool.) Go over the rubric with the learners so they will understand how the paragraphs will be scored.
Rubric for Timeline
Includes 3 events covering the period before 1763 plus organi-zations
Includes 2 events covering the period before 1763 plus organi-zations
Includes 3 events covering the period before 1763 without organi-zations
Includes 2 events covering the period before 1763 without organi-zations
Timeline with disengaged events and organi-zations
Describes two organi-zations, provides reason for need, present name if still in existence, and its significance to the common good. Establishes own P.O.V.
Describes one organi- zation, provides reason for need, and either presents name if still in existence, or its significance to the common good.
Describes two organi-zations, provides reason for need.
Describes two organi-zations, without any additional information.
Lack of formatted response
Essay: "Why were organizations needed to help during colonial times?"
Interactive Parent / Learner Homework:
Using Microsoft Word or Microsoft Works, demonstrate for learners how to create a computerized timeline by inputting information from the review session.
Lesson Developed By:Ramona Purdy
Watch duty (Police Officer)
Scot’s Charitable Society of Boston (1657)
The Scots Charitable Society of Boston, founded in 1657, was the forerunner of associations whose purpose was partly charitable. These associations helped to smooth the path of emigrants from Scotland. Its purpose is to give help to Scots in need.
St. Andrew’s Society of Charleston, South Carolina (1730)
Named for the patron saint of Scotland, it lends assistance to widows, orphans, and others in need of help.
The New York Society Library (1754)
In 1754, when there was no library in the city open to the public, the New York Society − a group of six civic-minded individuals − formed the Library in the belief that a subscription library which anyone could join, which offered a broad range of books, "would be very useful as well as ornamental to the City." It opened in a room in the old City Hall, on Wall Street facing Broad Street, and for a century and a half − until the founding of the public library system − and was known as "the city library," which in fact is what it was.
Library Company of Philadelphia (1731)
In 1731 Ben Franklin founded America's first circulating library so that people could borrow books to read even though they might not have been able to afford to buy books. The library was private and members paid a fee.
Masonic Lodge (1715)
In 1715 John Moore, Collector of the Port of Philadelphia, wrote in a letter that he had "spent a few evenings of Masonic festivity with my Masonic Brethren". This was the first Mason reporting informal Masonic meetings in America.
First Orphanage − New Orleans (1729)
The first orphanage in the United States was founded in 1729 by an Ursuline convent in New Orleans, after an Indian attack left many children without parents.
Harvard University (1636)
Harvard College was established in 1636 by vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. It was named for its first benefactor, John Harvard of Charlestown, a young minister who, upon his death in 1638, left his library and half of his estate to the new institution. Harvard's first scholarship fund was created in 1643 with a gift from Ann Radcliffe, Lady Mowlson.
During its early years, the College offered a classic academic course based on the English university model but consistent with the prevailing Puritan philosophy of the first colonists. Although many of its early graduates became ministers in Puritan congregations throughout New England, the College was never formally affiliated with a specific religious denomination. An early brochure, published in 1643, justified the College's existence: "To advance Learning and perpetuate it to Posterity; dreading to leave an illiterate Ministry to the Churches."
Name of Organization
Purpose or Benefit Provided
Event Which Led to Its Development
Timeline for Colonial Times
Directions: Complete the timeline to reveal three or four events that occurred during the colonial period (prior to 1763). You should include the year of the event plus an organization that was started to take care of the need. You may use the notes from your research as well as the copy of the summarized Attachment Three.
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