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

Introduction to Philanthropy—Recognizing Good Citizenship and Philanthropy in Our Community
Lesson 1:
printEmail this Lesson
Lesson
Handouts
Academic Standards
Philanthropy Framework

Purpose:

Students will understand the term philanthropy and recognize it in everyday situations.

Duration:

Two to Three Forty-Five Minute Class Periods

Objectives:

The Learner will:

  • list five ways in which responsible citizens act in a community.
  • list three philanthropic activities occurring in their own home, in their classroom, or in their school.
  • analyze the relationship between "community need" and "private action."
  • identify at least one act they might do to make the world a better place in which to live.

Materials:

  • A River Ran Wild by Lynne Cherry.
    Story summary: The setting of this story is the Nashua River. As the decades pass, the reader sees how the river changes from a peaceful clean river to a polluted river. Changes occur along the banks of the river—some good and some bad. The reader can compare the changing river from decade to decade, pointing out citizen involvement that helps restore the river in the end. As a suggestion, read the first several pages as a whole class. Guide the discussion emphasizing good citizenship qualities and ones that need improving. (Pre-read before reading with children.)

  • A River Ran Wild Guide student worksheet (see Attachment One). As a suggestion, guide students through Questions 3 and 4. Brainstorm as a class possible plans of action and the resulting effects.

  • What Would You Do? Student worksheet (see Attachment Two).
Handout 1
Answer Key: A River Ran Wild Guide
Handout 2
What Would You Do?

Instructional Procedure(s):

Anticipatory Set:

Pre-assess students. Have students complete "What Would You Do?" worksheet (see Attachment Two) and discuss students' ideas of being a helpful citizen.

  • Read A River Ran Wild.
    Using A River Ran Wild Guide (see Attachment One), discuss the needs in the communities surrounding the Nashua River as it changed over time, the affects of the developing communities on the river, and the actions that were taken to restore the river. Guide students through Questions 3 and 4. Brainstorm as a class possible plans of action and the resulting effects.

  • After reading and discussing the story, focus on the aspect of philanthropy in a community. Determine the elements of a healthy (good-working) community; see description of Chief Weewa's village. Explain that citizens need to take action in their community when a need arises. The descendants of Chief Weewa and a group of people recognized the need to clean the river and took action. People can act by contributing treasures or talents.

  • Develop a definition for philanthropy through structural and functional analysis of A River Ran Wild and pre-reading discussions.

  • Discuss the meaning of private action for the common good. Have individual students list on a graphic organizer all the "philanthropic" activities that already occur in their homes, in the their school, or in their community.

  • Use the board to develop the definition of philanthropy through structural and functional analysis. Discuss the meaning of private action for the public good, individual students list on a graphic organizer all the "philanthropic" activities that already occur in their homes, in the their school, or in their community.

  • Elicit from students a need (at home, in the neighborhood, in the school, in the community) and brainstorm opportunities to fulfill the need. Discuss the possibilities students have if they choose to take action. Use the following questions to help students.
    1. What is the need?
    2. Who has the need?
    3. Who is in the community?
    4. Who fills the need?
    5. What talent or treasure was given or shared?
    6. What goodness does the community experience from that giving or sharing?
    7. What is the reward for the one who shared?
    8. What would have happened if the need was not met?

Assessment:

  • Teacher observation of student participation.
  • Students' reflections on the philanthropic questions for the purpose of discussion.
  • Individual completion of the top half of A River Ran Wild worksheet and individual or group completion of the remaining four philanthropic questions.
  • Written assessment:
    • Have students write down five ways in which responsible citizens act in a community (1 point for each example).
    • Have students list three philanthropic activities which take place in their school (1 point for each example).
    • Have students write a definition of "private action" (2 points for complete definition, 1 point for partial definition).
    • Total assessment equals 10 points

Bibliographical References:

Cherry, Lynne. A River Ran Wild: An Environmental History. San Diego: Harcourt Brace & Company, 1992. ISBN: 0152005420.

Lesson Developed By:

Christel Homrich
Forest Hills Public Schools
Thornapple Elementary School
Grand Rapids, MI 49546

Handouts:

Handout 1Print Handout 1

Answer Key: A River Ran Wild Guide

Year Positive Aspects of Communities along Nashua River Negative Aspects of Communities along Nashua River
1400's


 
1600's


1700's


1800's


Early 1900's


Late 1900's


 



Philanthropy In Your Community
  1. Identify a need in your home, school, or community.

  2. What opportunities do you have to fill the need?

  3. What is a possible plan of action?

  4. What might the result be?


    Answer Key: A River Ran Wild



    Year Positive Aspects of Communities along Nashua River Negative Aspects of Communities along Nashua River
    1400's Native Americans settle along the riverbank. They take only what they need. The Nashua people live in harmony with the river, land, and forest.  
    1600's European settlers work together to form communities. Land is cleared by cutting down forests and more animals are killed than needed.
    1700's Dams and sawmills do not disturb the cleanliness of the Nashua. Many animals visit the river's edge. Native American lose their right to fish and their hunting grounds are being cleared.
    1800's Inventions are created to help ease the way of life for community members. Leftover wood pulp, dyes, and fibers are dumped into the river.
    Early 1900's Factories are making new things of new materials. Communication is advancing. Life is good for the people along the riverbank. Chemicals and plastics are being dumped into the river. Fish and wildlife become sick from the pollution. The Nashua begins to smell foul and turn colors. The river is dying.
    Late 1900's Community members recognize the need to take action. People donate their time and protest to politicians. New laws are passed and factories must stop polluting. Marion Stoddart and others had the vision and dedication to change their world for the better.  



    Philanthropy In Your Community
    1. Identify a need in your home, school, or community. (Students throw trash in halls.)

    2. What opportunities do you have to fill the need? (Pick it up when you see it.)

    3. What is a possible plan of action? (Form a hall patrol club to pick up trash.)

    4. What might the result be? (Clean halls, school pride, principal recognition.)

    Handout 2Print Handout 2

    What Would You Do?

    Consider the effects of your actions on other people. How do you act responsibly as a member of your community? Read the following situations, identify what being ‘helpful’ means to you.

    A classmate needs help getting and carrying her hot lunch. She has a broken arm. Which of the following would you do or say.
    • I would tell her, “Sorry, I’m busy getting my own lunch.”

    • I would help her for one lunch period only.

    • I would help only if the teacher told me to.

    • I would carry her lunch only for a reward of some sort.

    • I would help her out because it is the responsible thing to do.

    • I would carry her lunch if she were one of the cool kids.


    An elderly neighbor asks you to help pick up his yard after a storm. Which of the following would you to be helpful.

    • I would tell him, “I would help, but I have to clean up my yard..”

    • I would go help him.

    • I would help him if there were not anything better to do.

    • I would help so I could get a good reputation in my neighborhood.

    • I would help him if he offered to pay me by the hour.

    • I would help if no one else in the neighborhood would.


    There is a summer water conservation warning. How would you respond to the water shortage?

    • It is really hot out. I turn on my sprinkler to run through it as it waters the lawn.

    • I’m just one person; it doesn’t matter what I do.

    • I would conserve only if authorities were watching my water meter.

    • I would cut back on watering, taking long showers, and anything else that would help.


    Discussion
    As a class, discuss the choices you made about being helpful. Imagine yourself in each scenario, how would you feel? If you are not satisfied with your choices, what changes could you make? What are some qualities of helpful citizens?

    Philanthropy Framework:

    Comments

    Lara, Teacher – Holland, MI9/18/2007 11:43:17 AM

    (The positive aspect of using this lesson was) the class discussion about how you can make a difference in your community, neighborhood, class, and school via philanthropy. I liked the levels used for the application. The book was excellent with a good historical framework.

    Kathy, Teacher – Carleton, MI9/18/2007 11:45:04 AM

    (A positive aspect of this lesson was) Children can become more aware of philanthropic opportunities within their community.

    Donna, Teacher – Muskegon, MI9/18/2007 11:47:48 AM

    Great introduction to philanthropy. This unit goes directly with our Social Studies book.

    Kathryn, Teacher – Livonia, MI9/18/2007 11:52:07 AM

    We have a daily review of good citizenship and were able to use this lesson to discuss the above more completely.

    Submit a Comment

    All rights reserved. Permission is granted to freely use this information for nonprofit (noncommercial), educational purposes only. Copyright must be acknowledged on all copies.