Responsible Stewardship of the Great Lakes
  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.5 Define the terms "profit" and "not-for-profit."
    2. Standard DP 03. Names and Types of Organizations within the Civil Society Sector
      1. Benchmark E.1 Name and recognize the civil society sector as a separate part of the community.
      2. Benchmark E.2 Name an example of a civil society charitable organization.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 03. Philanthropy and Economics
      1. Benchmark E.5 Recognize the wise use of resources as <i>stewardship</i>.
    2. Standard PCS 05. Philanthropy and Government
      1. Benchmark E.14 Describe the roles of citizens in government.
    3. Standard PCS 07. Skills of Civic Engagement
      1. Benchmark E.3 Participate in acts of democratic citizenship in the classroom or school, such as voting, group problem solving, classroom governance or elections.
  3. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.3 Define stewardship and give examples.
      2. 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.
  4. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 02. Service and Learning
      1. Benchmark E.1 Select a service project based on interests, abilities, and research.
    2. Standard VS 03. Providing Service
      1. Benchmark E.3 Describe the task and the student role.
    3. Standard VS 05. Integrating the Service Experience into Learning
      1. Benchmark E.2 Evaluate progress on the service-learning project before, during, and after the project.

After learning about the delicate balance and benefits of lakes and rivers, participants raise awareness of the need for responsible citizenship to maintain local water ecosystems.

PrintOne 45-Minute Session

Identify and use the tools of philanthropy, advocacy and stewardship to preserve the welfare of local waterways.

  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Cubing is a strategy that asks participants to look at a single concept or process from several points of view. Give the following six prompts to guide participants to explore the Great Lakes. They write their responses on paper and then discuss their answers in groups of 2-4. Note: you may substitute a different local lake or river. 

    1. Describe it: What are the Great Lakes? Look for the place, name, and location as themes of geography.
    2. Compare it: What is it like? Is it like anything else you know of? What is it?
    3. Associate it: What does it remind you of?
    4. Analyze it: What are the Great Lakes made up of besides water? What kinds of pollution exist in our lakes?
    5. Take a stand: In what ways should we, as citizens, care about the Great Lakes and the health of local water systems? 
    6. Argue for or against it: List reasons why we should or shouldn't try to clean up our Great Lakes Basin. It is important to support each other’s positions – agreeing and disagreeing while still being pleasant.
  2. Discuss ways all of society, past and present, have contributed to pollution of the ecosystem, as well as worked toward cleaning up.

    Items to highlight are groundwater contamination, sewage systems, fertilizers, insecticides, industrial accidental and illegal dumping, oil spills, the release of PCBs, and PFAS. Ask learners about trash, plastics in the oceans, and acid rain.

  3. Discuss how the concepts involved in stewardship and philanthropy can be connected to protecting the Great Lakes, listing several different things that we can do to help.

  4. Taking Action:

    • Contact senators or representatives to find out what bills are currently being discussed affecting the Great Lakes and other waterways.
    • Contact nonprofits to see what is currently being done to clean up or sustain healthy waterways and ecosystems.
    • Post social media clips sharing information or persuading citizens to recycle or be aware of the need to do our part to protect our waterways.
    • Social action – have a plan and act on your plan. Encourage others to partner with you in your mission for change.
    • Presentation to a group of choice with specific outcomes you hope to receive from the group. Examples: funding for a project, awareness, behavior change, policy change or law change.