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

Grow Involved 6-8
Unit of 4 lessons

Unit Purpose:

Students discuss the service legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The sixth grade students learn about obesity and healthy eating through the documentary "Super Size Me". The seventh grade students learn about environmental stewardship and its importance to the common good by viewing the documentary "An Inconvenient Truth". The eighth grade students watch the film "Gandhi" and compare and contrast the philosophies and work of Dr. King and Gandhi. 

Focus Question: How does an individual use personal interests and strengths to impact the common good?

Unit Duration:

One 30 minute class period for Lesson 1 (Introduction) and one additional 30 to 60 minute class period for each additional lesson selected.

Unit Objectives:

The learner will:

  • define service.
  • recognize the vocabulary words in context.
  • explore and discuss the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his commitment to service.
  • understand the importance of healthy eating and its benefit to the common good.
  • experience service by making and donating healthy cookbooks. 
  • explore the benefits of recycling, energy and resource conservation and pollution reduction.
  • experience service by cleaning up a local commons area to demonstrate the importance of environmental justice.
  • discuss discrimination and nonviolent resistance and its relationship to the Indian caste system.
  • compare the lives and legacies of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Mohandas Gandhi.
  • experience service by making and donating peace bracelets 

Service Experience:

Although lessons in this unit contain service project examples, decisions about service plans and implementation should be made by students, as age appropriate.


This unit contains three opportunities for student service:
Healthy Eating (Grade 6) - create and donate booklets of healthy recipes
Environmental Justice  (Grade 7) - cleaning up a public area
Practice Peace  (Grade 8) - advocate for a peaceful community

Notes for Teaching:

Supplies might be obtained for the service projects by asking local merchants for donated items, or by seeking a small grant from local service clubs or parent organizations. See also www.generationOn.org and or www.kidscare.org for grant opportunities.

State Curriculum and Philanthropy Theme Frameworks:

See individual lessons for benchmark detail.

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