An activity and picture book discussion illustrate the tendency for people to see differences as a reason to fight. As we see in political divisions, society can be torn apart by factions. Differences provide an opportunity to be curious about someone else. Factions may also have a positive side when like-minded people collaborate to accomplish something difficult. 

Learners will investigate “Make a Difference Day,” and local community or state philanthropic organizations. The information about the organizations will be presented to the class and a class decision will be made about how the students can participate with the chosen group for “Make a Difference Day.” Note: This lesson is appropriate for any day of service and not limited to this October national event.

This lesson will emphasize that, from the beginning, women have made significant contributions to American history and philanthropy by taking a stand to support their beliefs. One of these women who showed courage to contribute to the common good was Pocahontas.

In this lesson the students will use the data collected from their surveys in Lesson Four: Bullying and Core Democratic Values on bullying in their school. They will analyze the information and take a position on whether or not bullying violates core democratic values and whether or not students should take an active role in preventing bullying at their school.

Students will explain that a person does not have to be rich or famous to be considered a hero or philanthropist. In addition, students will discuss the impact of the Industrial Revolution on Kate Shelley and the town of Boone, Iowa in 1881.

The learners will explain that bullying violates a persons core democratic values. Students will take action on the issue of bullying by taking surveys of various groups and sharing the results and their possible solutions with others.

In this lesson, students analyze and define the concept of community. The middle-school students identify their responsibilities for the common good in their role as citizens in the school community. They list ways they can help the younger students enter their school community successfully.

The purpose of this lesson is for the students to produce a video presentation. The video demonstrates the characteristics of the middle school with the purpose of informing students of what to expect when they come to middle school. It will be presented to the fifth graders who are moving to the middle school in the coming year.