Match the Environmental Group with the Correct Sector
  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark HS.5 Analyze the function and role of the civil society sector in economic systems using basic economic principles.
    2. Standard DP 02. Roles of Government, Business, and Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark HS.2 Provide examples from history of how the relationship between government and the civil society sector has changed.
      2. Benchmark HS.3 Identify an example of failure in each sector, and how the other sectors modified their roles in response.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 04. Philanthropy and Geography
      1. Benchmark HS.2 Identify and describe how civil society sector organizations help people nationally and internationally.
    2. Standard PCS 07. Skills of Civic Engagement
      1. Benchmark HS.2 Discuss a public policy issue affecting the common good and demonstrate respect and courtesy for differing opinions.
      2. Benchmark HS.4 Analyze and synthesize information to differentiate fact from opinion based on the investigation of issues related to public policy. Discuss these issues evaluating the effects of individual actions on other people, the rule of law and ethical behavior.

Students investigate and share information about environmental organizations to compare and contrast how the three sectors differ in their purposes, goals and achievements.

PrintThree to Four Fifty-Minute Class Periods

The learner will:

  • Identify into which sector an environmental organization fits.
  • Research an environmental organization, evaluate its goals and objectives in relation to the environment, and present the findings.
  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Tell the students that the environmental crisis in Flint, Michigan, occured when the water coming into all of the homes became contaminated. There were many reasons leading to the crisis, including government carelessness, environmental injustice, and lack of understanding. Government, nonprofit organizations, and businesses worked together to respond to the crisis. Ask the students what types of organizations they think would step in and take a role in solving the crisis and other environmental crises?

    Write the names of three organizations on the board: Environmental Protection Agency (government), World Wildlife Federation (nonprofit), and Amoco Oil (for profit). Using students' prior knowledge and facts on the internet, discuss the work of these organizations as it relates to the environment, their funding source, and the motivations behind their work. Be careful to avoid terms of judgment (right, good, wrong, bad) in the discussion.

  2. Put students into seven groups. Distribute student copies of Environmental Group Research. Read through numbers 1-8, going over the assignment in detail. Project a copy of Presentation Grading Rubric on the board and share the information on how the presentations will be graded. Answer any questions related to the assignment.

  3. Assign the following organizations, one per group:

    • Environmental Protection Agency
    • Occupational Safety and Health Administration
    • National Park Service
    • The Nature Conservancy
    • Greenpeace
    • Exxon
    • Consumers Energy

    These are government, nonprofit, and business groups directly involved in the Flint Crisis response:

    1. EPA (national government)
    2. Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (state government)
    3. City of Flint Public Works (city government)
    4. Flint River Watershed Coalition (nonprofit)
    5. Charles Stewart Mott Foundation (nonprofit foundation)
    6. Community Foundation of Greater Flint (nonprofit)
    7. General Motors (business)
    8. Walmart (business)


  4. Fill in textbook page numbers and internet sites to guide students on the Environmental Organization Information Sheet.

  5. Have student teams research their assigned organization using their Environmental Group Research form as a guide. Research can be conducted using both print and Internet sources. For additional sources see recommended websites and materials in the Bibliographical Reference section.

  6. Students prepare for a presentation on their assigned environmental organization. Allow two or three class periods for group preparation. Set a date and a time limit for the presentations.

  7. Presentation Day: While students are making their presentations, have the rest of the class take notes using Environmental Organization Notes.

    NOTE: The notes sheets are designed to have a different appearance from the Research forms so that students will not merely copy what they see on the overhead. They write phrases or very short answers rather than complete sentences when taking notes on oral presentations. If you wish, some of the information asked for may be eliminated from the notes sheets to encourage students to listen rather than writing extensively during the entire presentation.

  8. Grade the student presentations using Presentation Grading Rubric.

  9. After all the presentations are made, each student writes a reflection paper about how the different types of organizations contribute toward protecting the environment and the rationale for having all three sectors playing a role.


Assess student research, presentation style and inquiry abilities by utilizing Presentation Grading Rubric. Students may also be assessed on the notes taken during the oral reports.


 After all the presentations are made, each student writes a reflection paper about how the different types of organizations contribute toward protecting the environment and the rationale for having all three sectors playing a role. They reflect on the role of the different sectors in an environmental crisis, especially in Flint, Michigan.