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

Rivers for the Common Good
Unit of 5 lessons

Unit Overview:

Focus Question: What can we do to promote responsible use of all resources? 

Unit Purpose:

Keeping the water supply clean is everyone's responsibility for the common good . Learners practice core democratic values, explore literature through the book A River Ran Wild, follow the path of pollution in a river, focus on the concept of one million, and use the scientific method to examine the water cycle. They take action to address the issue of water pollution.

Unit Objectives:

The learners will:

  • read with proficiency the book, A River Ran Wild, to introduce the concept of the effects of pollution to the common good .
  • place events on a timeline.
  • determine the impact of humans on the environment.
  • simulate the concept of one million gallons of sewage to understand the impact on the river and the people who use it.
  • demonstrate prediction, estimation and projection.
  • demonstrate the effects of pollution in different areas of the water cycle.
  • participate in a service project to connect the importance of giving for the common good.
  • determine the effects of actions on the common good.
  • determine basic effects of water pollution on the quality of life and use vocabulary associated with hydrosphere and water cycle.
  • identify and relate the causes of water pollution.
  • make decisions relating to solving water pollution problems.
  • use with accuracy vocabulary associated with philanthropy.

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.

Students take action to address a pollution issue locally. They may take direct action, such as picking up trash or advocate for a water quality issue. They may do original research and communicate their findings and propose a solution.

Unit Assessment:

Teacher observation, teacher-constructed quizzes or tests, reflection and self-evaluation are used along with learner writing. Attachments to Lessons One through Four should be assessed. Mapping and model making will also be a concrete form of evaluation in the history, math and science lessons. In addition, the learners will participate in a mock trial to demonstrate their knowledge of the Core Democratic Values and Common Good .

School/Home Connection:

See Lessons One through Four.

Notes for Teaching:

Coordination of these lessons between participating instructors is important so that continuity and cohesive instruction is maintained.

State Curriculum and Philanthropy Theme Frameworks:

See individual lessons for benchmark detail.

Lessons Developed By:

Beth Shroyer
Huron School District
Miller Elementary
18955 Hannan Rd
New Boston, MI 48164

Beverly Brown
Livonia Public Schools
Webster Elementary School
37855 Lyndon
Livonia, MI 48154

Erick Swanson
Mona Shores Public Schools
Lincoln Park Elementary
2951 Leon Street
Muskegon, MI 49441

Mary Frances Saenz
Livonia Public Schools
Webster Elementary School
37855 Lyndon
Livonia, MI 48154

Pamela McIntosh
Detroit Public Schools
Woodward Elementary School
2900 Wreford
Detroit, MI 48208

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