Can a young person truly make a difference in our world? Learners will carry out an act of philanthropy by cleaning up a park. Learners will reflect on their experience and, through the use of literature, understand the importance of philanthropy, thus realizing that one person, a young adult, can make a difference in our world.

Using the movie or DVD Mystery of the Maya and two fables, this lesson is designed to introduce the students to the field of archeology, Mayan culture and the art of piecing together puzzles in order to better understand a culture.


Introduce learners to the region of the world known as  "The Great North," which includes the Arctic Circle, North Pole and Northern Europe. They learn how the native inhabitants demonstrate stewardship of the Earth's resources through their daily living. They view an "IMAX" movie about the region.

Focus Questions: How does climate affect the lifestyle of animals and humans? How do humans adapt to their environment? How should humans show respect to nature?

Learners will research the lives of key Americans, from the colonial period through Reconstruction, who advanced science and improved the common good. Learner research will be summarized using the obituary literary format.

Learners will describe problems of refugee populations around the world and human rights issues related to refugees. They will explain how the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child act to protect human rights. Understanding that refugees exist on all populated continents, learners will have a wider understanding of the basic human need for dignity that all refugees feel.

Often conflicts arise between different groups in society and lead to conflict. This lesson will look at ways to resolve such issues and respect the rights of others to be heard.

Using the example of Benjamin Franklin’s philanthropy, learners will research the work of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and analyze why their work cannot wholly be replicated by government.

Learners will analyze the dynamics of group formation and membership and give examples of groups, in their own lives and in history, which have been denied rights. They will describe how inclusion and exclusion from groups causes conflicts, and determine ways of overcoming differences among groups.