Through teaming with younger children, learners will determine the meaning of unfamiliar words in context and use encouragement to help others learn to read. They will determine how their acts are a form of community capital as they build trust with their younger learners.

In this lesson, the students read about some of the religious practices of the Aztec Empire and discuss the practice of human sacrifice to appease the gods. Students discuss the concept of sacrifice for the common good and debate how far we go in sacrificing for the common good.

Learners will compare and contrast the contributions of the “community champion” nominees who have left a legacy that will benefit the common good and last beyond their own lives. The nominees will be in three categories of giving to examine: family, school and the local community. With the Nobel Peace Prize as an example of an award given in perpetuity for improvements to the common good, the students, as a group, will create an award and/or prize that recognizes the nominees’ contribution.

This lesson introduces the students to Alfred Nobel and his legacy, the Nobel Peace Prize. Students will learn about the paradox between intent and purpose as related to Alfred Nobel, review the criteria used to award the Nobel Peace Prize and reflect on how they would like to be remembered in time. They will make the connection between philanthropy and core democratic values.

Students will understand the impact that philanthropy has worldwide both locally and worldwide. The final experiential component will have students celebrating the good works of local philanthropists (Champions for the Common Good), and engaging in philanthropic activities themselves by planning and holding an awards ceremony to honor local philanthropists. The students will decide whether to follow up the award with other donations of time, talent and/or treasure.


Students will understand philanthropy and service learning.  They will analyze past actions to determine if they have contributed to the common good.  This lesson will give the context for succeeding lessons in the unit so that students will be able to complete an action for the common good and evaluate their effort for a future philanthropic project.

Students define philanthropy as giving time, talent, or treasure for the common good. They learn about community philanthropy and make a presentation persuading others to act philanthropically in a specific way (volunteering, contributing to a nonprofit, or advocating for a cause). This lesson will raise awareness of philanthropic opportunities within our local communities, homes/family, and school. Based on guidelines for writing persuasively, students create persuasive speeches encouraging philanthropy.