What's Your Motto?
  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.

This lesson will lead learners to the understanding that responsible stewardship of natural resources intended for the common good applies to all environments, not just National Parks.

PrintTwo Fifty-Five minute Class Periods

The learner will:

  • identify the connection between rules and regulations, the common good and stewardship.
  • understand that rules regarding the use of natural resources apply in all environments.
  • investigate environments where natural resources are being misused.
  • Tape
  • Large pieces of white paper
  • Three or four markers for each of the three groups (Assorted Colors)
  • Rules and Regulations for Campers and Hikers (Handout One, Lesson One) one per group if needed.
Home Connection: 

Interactive Parent / Student Homework:Inform the learners that in preparation for the next lesson they need to observe and note what they see in these three environments (home, school, community) that does not reflect the rules the groups created

  1. Anticipatory Set: Prior to the learners entering the classroom, place the words “Mottoes to Survive By” on the display board. As the learners enter have them put their motto from yesterday’s homework on the display board beneath the caption.Ask the learners to recall that in the previous lesson they learned about some of the natural resources needed to sustain life on a hiking exhibition.Review the terms common good and stewardship and have the learners recall and share how these concepts are reflected in the Rules and Regulations for Campers and Hikers, (Handout One, Lesson One).Have the learners, one by one, share their motto with the class.

  2. After all the learners have shared their motto, lead them in a discussion about whether or not there might be a connection between common good, stewardship, rules and regulations (like those stated in the Rules and Regulations for Campers and Hikers, Handout One, Lesson One) and life in their homes, school, and/or community.

  3. Create a large Venn Diagram (two intersecting circles) on a display board with the caption “Parks” over the first circle and the caption “Home/School/Community” over the second circle.

  4. Ask each learner to remove their motto from the display board. Ask the learners to decide if the motto only pertains to park environments, in which case it will be placed in the “Parks” circle, or if the motto only applies to home, school, or community environments in which case it will be placed in the “Home/School/Community” circle. If the motto applies to both environments it should be placed in the intersection of both circles.

  5. Assign the learners into three equal groups giving each group a title. Group one’s title is “Home”, group two’s title is “School”, and group three’s title is “Community.” And provide each group with a large piece of white paper and three or four assorted colored markers.

  6. Using the Rules and Regulations for Campers and Hikers (Handout One, Lesson One) as a model, have each group design a Rules and Regulations for their assigned environment that reflect sensitivity to the environment and its natural resources. The number of rules should not exceed five so the learners are encouraged to identify the five most important rules and list only these on their Rules for the …. paper.)

  7. Return the learners’ Homework (Handout Two, Lesson One) suggesting that the rules and regulations found there may be helpful as a starting point for this project.

  8. Encourage the learners to write these rules in the positive – how to be good stewards of the environment - rather than the negative- how not to be. For example: “All trash created in the park must be taken out of the park” instead of “Don’t leave trash in the park.”

  9. Once completed, have each group show and report their rules, along with their rationale for their selection. Allow for class discussion, following each presentation, to provide feedback to each group.

  10. After each group has had an opportunity to present and receive feedback, have them reconvene to refine their lists.

  11. The groups should then select a motto (from among those already shared, or a new motto) that best reflects the rules of their assigned environment. Using this motto, along with the revised rules, ask the students to design a pamphlet/flyer that could be given to anyone coming into this particular environment.

  12. Have the groups post their pamphlet/flyer on the display board and do a classroom “walk about” giving each learner an opportunity to observe and compliment the work of the other groups.

  13. Provide time for reflection.

  14. Inform the learners that in preparation for the next lesson they need to be aware of what they see in their assigned environment that does not follow or reflect the rules their group created and be prepared to discuss these in a total class discussion.


The completion and depth of understanding reflected in the development of their motto, their involvement in group work, class discussions and presentations provide the basis for assessment in this lesson.