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

Giving of Treasure: Heart and Mind
Unit of 3 lessons

Unit Overview:

Focus Question: How do our needs and wants impact our choices? 

Unit Purpose:

Students will be guided through the process of identifying a community need and researching organizations that address that need. Based on presentations of available organizations, students will decide how scarce funds should be spent.

Unit Objectives:

The learner will:

  • distinguish between wants and needs.
  • compare the ways families and communities solve disputes about spending their scarce resources.
  • select a community need and defend it, as the most important, with supporting reasons.
  • use electronic resources to research philanthropic organizations
  • organize research information and design a visual presentation
  • assess the value of organizations using comparison and contrast.
  • explain the influence of objective and subjective factors upon the process of decision making.

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 may present their findings to a nonprofit organization and give them a check to support their work.

Unit Assessment:

A written essay will serve as the assessment of lesson objectives.

School/Home Connection:

    "Copy-and-Paste" Class/School Newsletter Information Insert:
    As we prepare students for their future as independent adults, we know that informed use of personal finances is of great importance. Students are learning about wants and needs within their families and local community. They are using valuable thinking skills to decide how funds (fictitious or those provided through a service learning project or community foundation) should be donated among competing needs within our community.

Interactive Parent / Student Homework:

See Attachment Two: School/Home ConnectionóDecisions, Decisions! Wants vs. Needs from Lesson One: Finding the Seed of Need.

Notes for Teaching:

Although designed for middle school students, this unit is applicable for high school students with some modification.

State Curriculum and Philanthropy Theme Frameworks:

See individual lessons for benchmark detail.

Lessons Developed By:

Lisa Ludwig
Cedar Springs Public Schools
Cedar Springs Middle School
204 E Muskegon St
Cedar Springs, MI 49319

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