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

Our Classroom Is a Community
Lesson 2:
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Lesson
Handouts
Academic Standards
Philanthropy Framework

Purpose:

The students recognize that their classroom is a community because the students are brought together for a common purpose. The students are encouraged to be philanthropic within their classroom, school and family. They analyze how philanthropy and trust affect the common good of the community.

Duration:

One Forty-Five Minute Period (plus a debriefing time a couple days later)

Objectives:

The learner will:

  • recognize that the classroom is a community of people with a common purpose.

  • demonstrate sharing time, talent or treasure in the classroom community.

  • give examples of when he/she can do something philanthropic without permission.

  • state why trust is important in a community.

  • define philanthropy as the sharing of time, talent or treasure for the common good.

Service Experience:

Although this lesson contains a service project example, decisions about service plans and implementation should be made by students, as age appropriate.
Learn more about the stages of service-learning.

None for this lesson.

Materials:

  • Index cards

  • Pencils

Handout 1
Our Family Is a Community

Instructional Procedure(s):

Anticipatory Set:

Ask for a volunteer. Give the student an index card with a philanthropic deed printed or illustrated on it. (Ideas: Offer to sharpen a pencil for someone. Share something with another student. Offer to initiate a group game. Offer to clean up a mess in the room.) Have the student do the act for someone in the room. Repeat with two more students and cards. Ask the participating students how it felt to be the giver and receiver. Discuss how each act is good for the community/common good.

  • Review the definition of a community from Lesson One: What Is a Community? A community is formed when a group of people come together for a common purpose or for the common good. Discuss in what ways the classroom fits that definition and can be considered a community.

  • Ask the students what attributes, behaviors and actions make the classroom a pleasant community. Make a list on the chalkboard of positive things they can do in the school and classroom without permission.

  • Define philanthropy as the giving or sharing of time, talent or treasure for the common good. Point out that many of the deeds they listed on the board are acts of philanthropy. Help the students to classify their list into three categories—sharing time (playing at recess), sharing talent (helping with work), and sharing treasure (sharing a treat from lunch).

  • Discuss what it means to trust each other. What does trust feel like? Discuss how or why trust matters within the classroom community. Without trust, how will people feel about accepting acts of philanthropy?

  • Pass out the index cards and have each student write or draw one philanthropic act he or she can perform in the classroom or school. They should think about and be ready to explain how that act provides for the common good for the school/classroom community.

  • Encourage the students to carry out the philanthropic act sometime in the next few days. After a few days, discuss how students feel about their classroom/school community. Ask if (and how) this activity has improved the common good of the community. Encourage the students to continue to share their time, talent and treasure with others to build up positive feelings and trust in the community (social/community capital). Does this activity help improve the classroom’s purpose (improve their ability to learn)? Discuss what it means that “citizens” have responsibility for the common good. Why are these acts their responsibility and not just something extra?

Assessment:

After a couple days, have a debriefing discussion. Discuss how students feel about their classroom/school community as a giver and receiver. Ask if (and how) this activity has improved the common good of the community. Encourage the students to continue to share their time, talent and treasure with others to build up positive feelings and trust in the community. Does this activity help improve the classroom’s purpose (improve their ability to learn)? Evaluate students’ understanding of philanthropy, community and common good.

School/Home Connection:

  • Interactive Parent / Student Homework:
    Discuss how families can also be considered communities. What are their common purposes and what do family members do for the common good of the family? For homework, the students should brainstorm with their families what philanthropic deeds can be done at home for the common good of their family. Encourage them to think about sharing time, talent and treasure. See Attachment One: Our Family Is a Community.

Cross-Curriculum Extensions:

Students can brainstorm a list of philanthropic acts they can do in the community without permission, such as picking up trash. Choose one act to carry out as a group.

Lesson Developed By:

Clayton Spencer
Farwell Area Schools
Farwell Elementary School
Farwell, MI 48622

Handouts:

Handout 1Print Handout 1

Our Family Is a Community

Dear Family,


We are learning about what makes a community. Communities can be the cities or areas in which people live, but communities are also formed whenever a group of people get together for a common purpose. We have learned that our classroom is a community. We discussed today that our families are also communities.

The homework for tonight is for the students (with the help of their families) to come up with a list of things you do for each other for the good of all. Think in terms of ways that family members share their time, their talents (abilities) and their treasure (can be money or things) for the common good of the family. For example, someone may clear the dishes after the meal.


Help the student talk to all members of the family for ideas and write a list below. Return the list to school on _______________.


Thank you,


Philanthropy Framework:

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