Duration 
Two to Three Forty-Five Minute Class Periods
Objectives 

The Learner will:

  • list five ways in which responsible citizens act in a community.
  • list three philanthropic activities occurring in their own home, in their classroom, or in their school.
  • analyze the relationship between "community need" and "private action."
  • identify at least one act they might do to make the world a better place in which to live.
Materials 
  • A River Ran Wild by Lynne Cherry.
  • A River Ran Wild handout and answer key). As a suggestion, guide students through Questions 3 and 4. Brainstorm as a class possible plans of action and the resulting effects.
  • What Would You Do? handout
Teacher Preparation 

Story summary: The setting of this story is the Nashua River. As the decades pass, the reader sees how the river changes from a peaceful clean river to a polluted river. Changes occur along the banks of the river—some good and some bad. The reader can compare the changing river from decade to decade, pointing out citizen involvement that helps restore the river in the end. As a suggestion, read the first several pages as a whole class. Guide the discussion emphasizing good citizenship qualities and ones that need improving. (Pre-read before reading with children.)

Bibliography 

Cherry, Lynne. A River Ran Wild: An Environmental History. San Diego: Harcourt Brace & Company, 1992. ISBN: 0152005420.

Instructions

Print
  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Pre-assess students. Have students complete "What Would You Do?" worksheet (see Attachment Two) and discuss students' ideas of being a helpful citizen.

  2. Read A River Ran Wild. Using A River Ran Wild Guide (see Attachment One), discuss the needs in the communities surrounding the Nashua River as it changed over time, the affects of the developing communities on the river, and the actions that were taken to restore the river. Guide students through Questions 3 and 4. Brainstorm as a class possible plans of action and the resulting effects.

  3. After reading and discussing the story, focus on the aspect of philanthropy in a community. Determine the elements of a healthy (good-working) community; see description of Chief Weewa's village. Explain that citizens need to take action in their community when a need arises. The descendants of Chief Weewa and a group of people recognized the need to clean the river and took action. People can act by contributing treasures or talents.

  4. Develop a definition for philanthropy through structural and functional analysis of A River Ran Wild and pre-reading discussions.

  5. Discuss the meaning of private action for the common good. Have individual students list on a graphic organizer all the "philanthropic" activities that already occur in their homes, in the their school, or in their community.

  6. Use the board to develop the definition of philanthropy through structural and functional analysis. Discuss the meaning of private action for the public good, individual students list on a graphic organizer all the "philanthropic" activities that already occur in their homes, in the their school, or in their community.

  7. Elicit from students a need (at home, in the neighborhood, in the school, in the community) and brainstorm opportunities to fulfill the need. Discuss the possibilities students have if they choose to take action. Use the following questions to help students.

Assessment 

Teacher observation of student participation. Students' reflections on the philanthropic questions for the purpose of discussion. Individual completion of the top half of A River Ran Wild worksheet and individual or group completion of the remaining four philanthropic questions. Written assessment: Have students write down five ways in which responsible citizens act in a community (1 point for each example). Have students list three philanthropic activities which take place in their school (1 point for each example). Have students write a definition of "private action" (2 points for complete definition, 1 point for partial definition). Total assessment equals 10 points

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.1 Define philanthropy as the giving and sharing of time, talent, or treasure intended for the common good.
    2. Standard DP 02. Roles of Government, Business, and Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.1 Give examples of needs met by government, business, civil society, and family.
      2. Benchmark E.2 Explain the difference between wants and needs.
    3. Standard DP 04. Operational Characteristics of Nonprofit Organizations
      1. Benchmark E.1 Describe how citizens organize in response to a need.

Academic Standards

Select categories to search for standards.

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