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

Sharing Our World
Unit of 6 lessons

Unit Overview:

Focus Questions: Can humans and animals coexist in the same habitat? What is a community? What do humans and wildlife share? Does the Common Good include wildlife? 

Unit Purpose:

Students gain an understanding of habitats and the coexistence of humans and wildlife. They explain the importance of and their responsibility for protecting and nurturing the environment. 

Unit Objectives:

The learner will:

  • define and compare wildlife and domesticated animals.

  • identify various species of plants and animals that have adapted to urban habitat.

  • read facts in non-fiction literature about how wildlife survives in urban areas.

  • recognize the responsibility of people to protect and nurture the environment.

  • describe the habitats that have evolved since the 1700s.

  • compare and contrast how animals coexist with humans today and in the past.

  • observe industrial changes and how they affect animal life.

  • conduct an inquiry using technology.

  • work as a cooperative group.

  • make and carry out a cohesive plan.

  • collect data and analyze it.

  • record findings daily.

  • differentiate between various types of wildlife.

  • gain a deeper understanding of issues related to city wildlife.

  • explain industrial changes and how they affect animal life.

  • discuss strategies that will enhance the coexistence of animals and humans.

  • define the term Philanthropy.

  • discuss the meaning of volunteerism.

  • discuss citizenship and the Common Good.

  • collaborate on an action plan that will enhance the lives of animals.

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.

Students participate in a service-learning project in which they clean up and beautify the school grounds. As a cooperative group, they plant flowers and place bird baths and feeders in strategic areas on school grounds.

Unit Assessment:

  • Informal Assessment: Observe students’ teamwork, organizational skills and contributions to the group.

  • Rubrics provided in Lesson One: Exploring the Neighborhood – Literature Jigsaw, Lesson Three: Cooperative Conjectures, and Lesson Five: Lights, Camera, Action!

  • Lesson Two: Habitats Past and Present, Attachment Three: Teacher Observation Log

  • Have students review their own work with the self-assessment provided. See Lesson Six: Splish! Splash! Birdbath, Attachment Two: Unit Wrap-Up.

  • Review with the students the five essential questions for the unit. 1) Can humans and animals coexist in the same habitat? 2) If so, are there dangers that exist? For whom? 3) What is a community? 4) What do humans and wildlife share? 5) What is Common Good? Does it include wildlife?

School/Home Connection:

  • Interactive Parent / Student Homework:
    Lesson Four: Stop, Look and Listen - Students bring home their “journal pages” and explore habitats around their neighborhoods with the help of their families.

  • Lesson Five: Lights, Camera, Action! - Students take home their City Wildlife Folders to share with their families. Optional: have a family member sign a note that says they looked at the folder together and discussed the concepts.

  • Lesson Six: Splish! Splash! Birdbath - Ask for parent volunteers to assist in project.

  • Send home the list of ideas on Lesson Six, Attachment One: Top Ten List: Things You Can Do to Help Animals.

Notes for Teaching:

Prior to allowing students to complete a computer presentation, a mini lesson should be conducted to allow students to become familiar with the computer presentation software. Also, if necessary, conduct a mini lesson on note taking.

State Curriculum and Philanthropy Theme Frameworks:

See individual lessons for benchmark detail.

Lessons Developed By:

Greta Hendricks Johnson
Detroit Public Schools
Van Zile Elementary School
2915 E Outer Dr
Detroit, MI 48234

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.