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

Pitch In — A Philanthropic Puppet Project
Unit of 4 lessons
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Unit Overview:

Focus Questions: Do people have a responsibility to care for the environment? How is being an environmentalist an act of philanthropy? 

Unit Purpose:

Students study philanthropists and environmentalists through literature and research. Students choose one environmental issue to research. They will be asked to think about the link between philanthropy, their environment and active citizenshipStudents’ research and responses to the issues are presented in a culminating puppet play. 

Unit Objectives:

The learner will:

  • research an environmental problem and find at least ten facts about it.
  • find information from at least three different sources.
  • write a summary of facts.
  • write a script for a puppet show using the research from Lesson One: Digging Up the Facts.
  • record his/her script onto a cassette tape.
  • create a puppet using primarily trash items.
  • learn about some different types of puppets and how they work.
  • perform a puppet play for other students and adults/parents.
  • use a puppet to communicate his/her ideas.
  • teach others about various environmental problems and solutions.
  • reflect on the essential questions of the unit and write a piece on being an environmental philanthropist.

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.

The students will perform their puppet plays for other classrooms, parents and community members in order to raise awareness about environmental issues and motivate others to act.

Unit Assessment:

The Teacher assesses student participation and writing through three rubrics:


Lesson Two: A-Scripting We Will Go:

Rubric for Script

Point Value

Points Given

Research – Includes at least five facts about an environmental issue.

10

 

Research – Includes at least five ways to work toward solving the environmental issue.

10

 

Demonstrates understanding of issue.

10

 

Correct use of _____-grade grammar and spelling

5

 

Script written in dialogue format with no narrator.

5

 

Script includes at least two sound effects.

2

 

Script includes a setting (time and place).

2

 

Script includes a problem/solution.

2

 

Script includes a beginning/middle/end.

2

 

Cooperation within group

2

 

Total Points

50

 


Lesson Three: Garbage—A Puppet’s Paradise:

Rubric for Recycled Puppets

Point Value

Points Given

Used at least five pieces of trash

10

 

Shows creativity

10

 

Student can identify the type of puppet it is

5

 

Student can move puppet to communicate ideas

5

 

Total Points

30

 


Lesson Four: Philanthropic Puppets on Parade
:

Rubric for Performance and Understanding

Point Value

Points Given

Reflection writing (Scale of 1 to 6 based on school writing rubric)

60

 

Cooperation and team work

20

 

Performance (puppet use, timing, technical)

20

 

Total Points

100

School/Home Connection:

"Copy-and-Paste" Class/School Newsletter Information Insert:

In our class, we are working on a unit called, "Pitch In: A Puppet Performance." During the next few weeks we will be studying various problems and issues facing our environment today. We will also be reading literature and viewing websites to learn about philanthropists that are working to help our environment by giving of their time, talents and treasures to help their planet Earth.

We are going to be creating puppets and writing puppet play scripts to perform for our school classmates and our local community members. By doing this, we hope to educate others and raise awareness on issues that concern our environment and what we can do to help.

To help us with this endeavor, we would like you to start collecting various trash items in your house. Some ideas include Styrofoam meat trays, plastic containers (salad dressing, margarine tubs, sour cream, dish soap), dowels or old broom handles, foam, tissue paper, tinfoil, fabric or ribbon scraps, paper towel/toilet paper rolls, yarn, etc…

Interactive Parent/Student Homework:

Send home a letter informing parents of the unit and requesting they send to school a variety of "garbage" that can be reused for making puppets. (See Attachment One: Family Letter in Lesson One: Digging for Facts.)

Lesson Four: Philanthropic Puppets on Parade Students should write thank-you notes to all parent volunteers or community members that helped.

Notes for Teaching:

  • Before Lesson One, gather several books on environmental topics from the local public library.
  • Try to find a puppet stage if you or your school does not already have one.
  • If you can find a puppeteer to come talk with your kids and assist them with some puppetry basics, that would be ideal. A good place to ask might be the children’s librarian at your local library
  • Work with your art teacher! Have students use art class time to construct their puppets.
  • When your unit is completed, display your puppets in a showcase window or school library.

State Curriculum and Philanthropy Theme Frameworks:

See individual lessons for benchmark detail.

Lessons Developed By:

Amy Peters
Mona Shores Public Schools
Lincoln Park Elementary
2951 Leon Street
Muskegon, MI 49441

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