Jimmy Carter—Responsible Citizen
This lesson presents a model of a modern day philanthropist and responsible citizen, Jimmy Carter.
The learner will:
- describe how former President Jimmy Carter's actions constitute an example of philanthropy by creating solutions for local and international problems.
- distinguish between various existing volunteer groups and trace the history of volunteering in American democracy.
- formulate ways to address local and world problems.
- Background Notes to the Teacher Attachment One
- Interview with Jimmy Carter, the 39th President of the United States (1977-81) Attachment Two
- Who Influenced Jimmy Carter? Attachment Three
- What is the Carter Center? Attachment Four
- On the local level Attachment Five
- Talking Peace: A Vision for the Next Generation Attachment Six
- Large sheets of paper for presentations
- Alternative Assessment See Assessment Section and Attachment Seven
- Bahmueller, Charles F., ed. Civitas: A Framework for Civic Education. Center for Civic Education, Calabasas, CA, 1991
- Carter Center http://www.cartercenter.org/default.asp?bFlash=True
- Carter, Jimmy. Talking Peace A Vision for the Next Generation
- Carter, Jimmy. Scholastic Update (Dec.3, 1993), p. 14.
- CIVNET http://www.civnet.org/
- Ellis, Susan J., and Katherine H. Noyes. By The People: A History of Americans as Volunteers. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1990.
Anticipatory Set:Ask the students if they have ever heard of the word "philanthropy"? What is philanthropy? (Philanthropy can be defined as the giving of one's time, talents or resources to help others.) Our history is rich in the philanthropic tradition. Remind students that in the last lesson they chose philanthropic activities that they would be interested in. Ask if they remember what some of those were. Refer to the list that a student copied of those results. Tell the students that:
Former President Jimmy Carter has been active in public life for over three decades and continues to act in the philanthropic tradition. Many action groups of volunteers have developed over this time. Use the Background Notes to go over some of these with the class. Ask how have these voluntary efforts strengthened democratic institutions? Remind students that half of the class read about this as a homework assignment. Possible answers might include taking action to solve a problem or meet a need.
Ask students who read the other reading to answer the question, how is civic involvement seen as important to a successful and fulfilling life? A possible answer might include people should help those less fortunate. Citizens also describe the strong personal satisfactions they gain from voluntary effort, see voluntary involvements as a central way to express their religious beliefs and values, appreciate the opportunity afforded by civic effort to give back to society some of the benefits they have received, and see voluntary efforts as a way to serve as examples and role models. Civic and community activities serve many purposes. Volunteers' main goals include interest in increasing opportunities for others; protecting the environment; and improving the cultural life of communities. Ask students on a continuum from no understanding to great understanding about voluntary efforts strengthening democratic institutions over the course of American history and how civic involvement is important to a successful and fulfilling life. Explain that understanding will become clearer as they learn more about Jimmy Carter.
Divide the class into five groups, one group for each of Attachments Two through Six. Have each student in a group read their material, pull out the essential points and in their own words write them down. Ask for at least five summary statements. Next they should meet as groups and prepare a presentation for the class about at least five of the essential points of what they read. They should use large sheets of paper with key words, phrases or illustrations that would also enhance their presentations.
Post these papers.
Ask students the following:
- How does Jimmy Carter show that he is a citizen who creates solutions for local and international problems?
- Name some existing volunteer groups that are examples of philanthropy in America.
- What are some ways to address local and world problems?
Ask each student to write a one-paragraph summary of the unit or see optional assessment at the end of the lesson. The summary paragraph should include the following: How did Jimmy Carter act as a volunteer? What role have volunteer groups played in our history? What are some ways to address current local and world problems? Evaluation Rubric 4 the paragraph includes all three topics and shows deep understanding 3 the paragraph includes all three topics 2 the paragraph includes two of the topics 1 the paragraph includes one of the topics 0 no attempt Alternative Assessment: Divide students into groups of three or five. Give students Attachment Seven: Alternative Assessment, one to a group. Have students interpret how Jimmy Carter's career relates to each of the quotations. Or students may choose one from the three and write responses individually. Each group should have a recorder to record their thoughts and reactions. After 5-7 minutes each group should have a reporter report their thoughts and reactions to the class. Tell the class that you will be evaluating them by the following guidelines: Evaluation Rubric for the Group Work: 4 evidence that all participated in the group discussion, response includes examples from the lessons on Carter and philanthropy, response shows deep understanding of the issue 3 evidence that all participated in the group discussion, response includes at least one example from the lessons on Carter and philanthropy, response shows understanding of the issue 2 evidence that most participated in the group discussion, response shows understanding of the issue 1 little participation in the group discussion, response shows little understanding of the issue. 0 no attempt Evaluation Rubric for Individual Written Responses: 4 the essay includes examples from the lessons on Carter and philanthropy, shows deep understanding of the issue 3 the essay includes at least one example from the lessons on Carter and philanthropy, shows understanding of the issue 2 the essay shows understanding of the issue 1 the essay shows little understanding of the issue. 0 no attempt
Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
Benchmark HS.5 Describe civil society advocacy organizations and their relationship to human rights.
Standard PCS 03. Philanthropy and Economics
Benchmark HS.13 Give examples of how philanthropy has reallocated limited resources through giving and citizen action.
Benchmark HS.4 Give examples of how civil society sector giving by individuals and corporations can impact communities.
Standard PCS 04. Philanthropy and Geography
Benchmark HS.3 Identify and describe civil society sector organizations whose purpose is associated with issues relating to "human characteristics of place" nationally and internationally.
Standard PCS 07. Skills of Civic Engagement
Benchmark HS.2 Discuss a public policy issue affecting the common good and demonstrate respect and courtesy for differing opinions.