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 Purpose:

Students will study philanthropists and environmentalists through literature and research on environmental issues. Students choose one environmental issue to research such as recycling, landfills, rainforests, acid rain, global warming, water pollution, air pollution and energy. Students’ research and responses to the issues are presented in a culminating puppet play. They will conduct research, write scripts, make puppets from recycled materials and perform plays for others in their community. By performing these puppet shows, students will become environmentalists and philanthropists themselves as they educate and motivate others on these issues. They will be asked to think about the link between philanthropy, their environment and active citizenship.

Focus Questions:

  • Do people have a responsibility to care for the environment?
  • Are you an environmentalist?
  • Are you a philanthropist?
  • How is being an environmentalist an act of philanthropy?

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 experiential component for this unit centers around a final puppet show performance. The show is created solely by the students. Throughout the unit they will gather research on an environmental issue, put this research into a story and script, record the script and create puppets. Finally, the students invite classmates, staff, parents and community members to watch their puppet show. Through the puppet performances, students educate others on these issues facing our world today and hopefully make people more aware of the problems and what they can do to help.

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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