The thematic unit, Concepts Of Leadership, is designed to be integrated into the regular American History class over the period of an entire year culminating in a discussion and inquiry session which leads to a Service Learning experience for each student. At various times during the course of the regular American History class, the unit presents various "leaders" in chronological sequence and the events in which they were involved. Toward the end of April, these leaders will be presented again with the focus question: How does leadership develop in an individual to the point where he or she is willing to take private action for common good?
This unit will enable students to identify the elements of decision-making that leaders have used throughout history and the challenges and rewards that they encountered as they committed themselves to taking private action for public good. Students will also understand the conflicts in society between economic and environmental interests and the role of the citizen in government.
The students will:
- identify at least one pivotal event, social contribution and personal quality that contributed to the proactive leadership demonstrated by those persons and documents studied.
- be able to identify the turning point and to list the various steps in the pivotal decision-making process that each leader used in taking private action for the common good. (The number of steps may vary with the individual studied.)
- list the specific core democratic values that helped guide each individual in their leadership role.
- develop a personal plan for taking action for the public good.
- list at least six examples of character and philanthropy in American History.
- describe how at least one philanthropist contributed to historic events during the period of 1865 to the present.
Although lessons in this unit contain service project examples, decisions about service plans and implementation should be made by students, as age appropriate.
Students will develop a personal action plan for taking private action for the public good.
- Test over specific chronological time periods and philanthropists from each period using the titles of the lessons for test questions
- Student-generated self-analysis and detailed plan for making a contribution to their society
Notes for Teaching:
- Writing: Various types of writing are an important component in any American History class.
- Journals: Each student keeps a folder for the class syllabus, written papers, assignments, reading packets and other class papers. In addition, a theme paper is included for a series of various writing assignments.
- Quick writes: At various times, students will be asked to write a quick, five-minute-or-less synopsis of what they have been studying, or their opinion on an issue. This activity is usually worth about five points and is graded for content only using the assignment criteria.
- HST writes: Students are given a topic which requires them to follow the form required by the Michigan HST test. This activity is given a score of one to four following the criteria given in the test.
- Gallery walk: Students work in groups of three to five and brainstorm ideas about the discussion topic. These ideas are placed on large sheets of butcher paper and the papers are hung up around the room. The class as a whole then "takes a walk" around the room, reviewing the ideas presented by each group, looking for similarities, common themes, and, depending on the topics, adding ideas to each page as they go. This activity illustrates the diversity of views in a short amount of time without requiring the discussion of all ideas.
- Civil Discourse is one of the content standards of the Michigan Social Studies Curriculum. Classroom discussion is essential to any Social Studies course.
- Modified Fishbowl technique: Group A will be in the inner circle and each participant will have a member from group B sitting directly behind him or her.
Group A participants will be the only ones permitted to talk at this time. They begin discussion with the general focus question. The discussion is entirely student-directed and teacher participation is minimal.
Group B members are each assigned to evaluate the person in front of them using the lesson-specific rubric. Group B members may pass notes for possible discussion topics to the person in front of them.
Time allotted: 10 minutes per group; after the first 10 minutes, the groups switch.
Note: The more practice students have with the discussion technique, the more capable they become at breaking down the subjects for themselves. During the first part of the semester, it may be necessary to add more leading discussion questions.
State Curriculum and Philanthropy Theme Frameworks:
See individual lessons for benchmark detail.