Can You Make a Difference?
  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. Benchmark E.3 Recognize that citizens have a responsibility for the common good as defined by democratic principles.
    2. Standard DP 02. Roles of Government, Business, and Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.6 Explain why acting philanthropically is good for the community, state, nation, or world.
    3. Standard DP 04. Operational Characteristics of Nonprofit Organizations
      1. Benchmark E.1 Describe how citizens organize in response to a need.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 07. Skills of Civic Engagement
      1. Benchmark E.1 Explore and research issues and present solutions using communication tools.
  3. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.1 Describe one reason why a person might give or volunteer.
      2. Benchmark E.4 Give an example of how citizens act for the common good.
      3. Benchmark E.5 Give examples of actions students can take to improve the common good and list or describe responsibilities that go with those actions.

In this lesson, youth prepare a persuasive speech in which they demonstrate that one person (or small group) can make a difference in making the world a better place or taking action for the common good.

PrintTwo 45-Minute Sessions

Prepare a presentation to communicate about making a difference.‚Äč

  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Read aloud the anecdote about the man who throws one starfish at a time back into the sea, or The Star Thrower. This piece illustrates that one person can make a difference. 

  2. Discuss why we don't have to think big, but small actions can add up to make a difference. Brainstorm some examples of little things people can do with generosity of words, actions, spending, time, and talents. Why will these things make a difference? To whom will they make a difference? 

  3. Challenge each person to plan and make a short speech about how an individual (or small group) can make a difference. This may take a few days of preparation and planning. They can work with a partner and may use visual aids.

  4. When others are presenting, the listeners take notes and give positive feedback. Encourage listeners to listen generously for the intent and to list good points.

  5. Assign each person two or three presentations for them to give personal and anonymous feedback. Collect all the feedback and read it before giving it to the presenters.