Think Locally, Act Globally or Think Globally, Act Locally?

Grades: 
9, 10, 11, 12

Students are introduced to the concept of responsible citizenship and how philanthropy helps achieve responsible citizenship.

Lesson Rating 
0
Duration 
PrintOne or Two Fifty-Minute Class Periods
Objectives 

The learner will:

  • identify one concern on the local, national or international level that they would like to address through research and problem solving.
  • examine various existing volunteer groups and the history of volunteering in American democracy
Materials 
  • Civic and Community Action Attachment One
  • Civic and Community Action Attachment Two
  • U.S. History textbooks

Instructions

Print
  1. Anticipatory Set:Write, "Think locally, act globally." "Think globally, act locally." Ask "Which would you choose, and why?" Discuss or ask students to write down either local or global.

  2. Explain that in the decade after Carter's presidency ended "…three major problems of the 1980s were hunger, homelessness and drug abuse. The existence of poverty was not new, but the novelty now was the numbers and types of people who fell from marginal survival to having nothing. The exact causes of mass homelessness are still being debated, but contributing factors certainly included rising housing costs, almost nonexistent federal housing subsidies, effects of inflation on fixed incomes and regional unemployment patterns. Also, the success of mental health advocacy limiting institutionalization increased the number of mentally ill people attempting to function in the community, without the promised social service support networks. Finally, drug and alcohol abuse diverted addicts' cash from meeting food and lodging needs." (Ellis and Noyes, By the People: A History of Americans as Volunteers, p. 295) Discuss this information and whether or not the information is true for the nineties as well.

  3. Ask students if they have heard of Habitat for Humanity. What do they know about it? Have they ever worked on it or know someone that is involved with it? "Founded in 1976, by 1988 Habitat for Humanity had organized home-building programs in 277 American communities. Habitat recruited volunteers to work side by side with homeless individuals to construct or renovate their own homes." (Ellis and Noyes, p. 296). Former President Jimmy Carter is closely associated with Habitat for Humanity, along with other philanthropic activities.

  4. Ask students to share school, local community or national problems or issues of today on which they or their parents may have worked. Explain that they will examine the world of philanthropy and civic responsibility today. In the following activity, they will see what one former President does with his life after having served as President of the United States.

  5. Divide the class into groups of three to five students to brainstorm current local, national and international concerns. Each group should assign a recorder and a reporter. The recorder is to make a list of two problems for each of the three categories, local, national and international. The reporter is to tell the class what their group listed. Give the groups five minutes.

  6. Call on the reporter from each group and create a master list for each of the three areas. Give reporters the opportunity to elaborate on their choices. Save the list. Ask a responsible student to copy the list.

  7. This step is a transition to the concepts of philanthropy and civic responsibility. Distribute Attachment One: Civic and Community Action to half the class and Attachment Two: Civic and Community Action to the other half. Assign these two articles as reading in preparation for the next lesson.

Cross Curriculum 

Reinforces earlier service learning components and prepares the way for participation in philanthropic projects. This lesson also could be used as a base for service learning projects.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 03. Philanthropy and Economics
      1. Benchmark HS.13 Give examples of how philanthropy has reallocated limited resources through giving and citizen action.
      2. Benchmark HS.4 Give examples of how civil society sector giving by individuals and corporations can impact communities.
    2. Standard PCS 04. Philanthropy and Geography
      1. 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.