What's Happened Here?
  1. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 03. Philanthropy and Economics
      1. Benchmark MS.5 Define <i>stewardship</i> as a trust of common resources held by a community for citizens.
    2. Standard PCS 05. Philanthropy and Government
      1. Benchmark MS.3 Identify the relationship between individual rights and community responsibilities.
  2. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.4 Identify and describe the actions of how citizens act for the common good.
  3. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 01. Needs Assessment
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Identify a need in the school, local community, state, nation, or world.
      2. Benchmark MS.2 Research the need in the school, neighborhood, local community, state, nation, or world.
    2. Standard VS 02. Service and Learning
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Select a service project based on interests, abilities and research.
    3. Standard VS 04. Raising Private Resources
      1. Benchmark MS.3 Develop a service plan.
    4. Standard VS 05. Integrating the Service Experience into Learning
      1. Benchmark MS.3 Identify outcomes from the service.

This lesson will highlight environmental concerns that impact the home, school and community and provide the learners with hands-on opportunities to make a difference in the environment through the implementation of a service plan.

PrintOne Fifty- Five Minute Class Period (with additional time for reflection upon completion of the Service Plan)

The learner will:

  • experience, first hand, a misuse of the environment.
  • share other environmental misuses, noting similarities and differences.
  • self-select, develop, and implement a service plan to impact the environment in a positive way.
  • share in a silent reflection.
  • “Trash”
  • Lined classroom paper
  • 3” x 5” cards (one per learner)
Home Connection: 

Interactive Parent / Student Homework:The learners will be involved in the selecting, developing and enacting a service plan intended to provide an immediate positive impact in a chosen environment.

  1. Anticipatory Set:Prior to class, create a mess in the classroom i.e. throw paper, pencils, trash on the floor, tip over a chair or two, place graffiti on the display board, etc. (Soliciting the help of a few learners will make this job a lot easier and more fun.) As the learners enter the room, observe their reaction to the condition of the room but say nothing and act no differently than usual. When all have entered, pause and look around as if you are observing the classroom for the first time. Ask the learners, “What happened here?”, to begin discussion. Listen to their comments and then ask them to share their initial reaction upon seeing the mess. Ask if they noticed anyone else’s reaction (no names) and whether or not they observed anyone (no names) doing anything about it, and if so what were some of the things they noted. Capture as many comments as possible on the display board, recording them all around the rules and regulations for the three environments (displayed from the previous lesson).

  2. Ask the learners write on a piece of lined paper those things that they observed (from their homework assignment) that did not reflect the rules the groups created in the development of their pamphlet/flyer.

  3. Once completed, have the learners share their observations with the class for one or all the areas. As each learner finishes sharing, cut apart the written observations, and adhere them to the display board around the corresponding rules pamphlet/flyer.

  4. Have the learners reflect on how their observations of the messy classroom and their observations of the three identified environmental areas (homework assignment) are similar/different.

  5. Ask the learners to decide in which of the three areas (home, school, and/or community) they will make a difference by taking an active role in demonstrating the rules and the motto they developed around being good stewards of our natural resources for the common good.

  6. Distribute a 3" x 5" card to each learner, have them place their name at the top of the card and beneath their name have them indicate which area (home, school, community) they choose to provide a service that will make a positive difference.

  7. Collect the cards and have those choosing the same areas form groups. Once in their groups, have the learners begin to discuss ideas about how they might go about providing a service that will make a difference.

  8. While this discussion is going on, return the cards to each learner. When all the cards have been returned, interrupt the group discussion, telling the learners that beneath their selected area on the card they need to describe the service activity that they are planning to provide that will make a difference.

  9. Place the “W”-questions on the display board: Who, What, When, Where, and Why. Instruct the learners to place these words one per line beneath their selected area and then using a single word or phrase response, write a response to each of these questions. The responses should reflect the following: Who will I do it with or will I do it alone or with a community agency? What need will my service address? When will I do it and are other resources needed? Where will I perform this service? Why do this; what are my expected outcomes for this service? Tell the learners that although discussed in a group for ideas and feedback, it is not recommended that this service activity be done as a group project.

  10. Inform the learners that you will be collecting the cards. The teacher can determine the maximum amount of time needed for the learners to accomplish their service.

  11. Inform the learners that upon completion of their service activity they may request their card for an authorized signature (a parent, school official, an adult community member, etc) and returned to you by the assigned date/time. This signature will verify that the service has been provided and make possible an opportunity for the learner to be recognized for his/her contribution.

  12. Once the signed card has been returned, have the learners write only four words on the back of their card; two that describe the service rendered, and two that describe their feelings about their experience and post it on the display board without names. (i.e cleaned, painted, empowered, happy)

  13. Conclude this unit by providing time for the learners, in a silent reflective “walk-about,” to read the words on the back of the cards.


Class discussion, as well as group participation, and the development and completion of a self-selected service plan, will form the basis of assessment for this lesson.