Heroism--Opportunities for Action

9, 10, 11, 12

Students will be provided the opportunity to reflect cognitively and effectively upon concepts acquired during the first three lessons by producing a manual of service opportunities within their community. Increasing individual student awareness of opportunities to positively benefit others within their community will be demonstrated through their research and commitment to sharing their manual with members of the local school community and community at large.

PrintApproximately Three Fifty-Five Minute Class Periods(One block of time for either a service organization informational session or service opportunity, or to hear speaker(s) invited to the classroom.)

The learners will:

  • demonstrate personal advocacy through a service learning activity.
  • identify service opportunities within varied community settings related to personal interest.
  • compile and publish a service guide that includes opportunities for young people to access as a resource.
  • create an artistic reflection to express his/her personal effective response to ideas encountered throughout the unit.
  • Handout One: America’s Second Harvest (Spanish version Handout Four)
  • Handout Two: Guide to Record Contact and Information (Spanish version Handout Five)
  • Phone books, computers with Internet access
  • Small white drawing paper for sketch
  • Binding materials
  • Word processing availability and software
  • Laminating sheets - optional but beneficial
  • Art materials such as crayons, oil pastels, paints (teacher choice and/or availability)
  • Bradner, Jeanne H. Passionate Volunteerism: The Importance of Volunteerism Today & How Government Nonprofits & Volunteers Can Make It a More Powerful Force. Conversation Pr Inc., October 1993. ISBN: 0963439529
  • Feeding America https://www.feedingamerica.org/ Source of information packet, Handout One. The site contains information on local offices and warehouses, volunteer opportunities and services.


  1. Instructor Note: Either schedule a volunteer opportunity for your class at a local food bank or volunteer center or have a representative of one or more service organizations speak to your class(es).

    Anticipatory Set: Write the following prompt on the whiteboard or overhead: “Heroism is a philanthropic action.” Discuss the statement. Within the context of pairs or small groups, students will respond to the following prompts for pre-service reflection:

  2. What heroic actions portrayed in our reading of Greek and British mythology reflected heroism for the common good? Check for understanding of philanthropy. Individuals or groups giving of their time, talent and/or treasure to benefit the common good (benefit of society).

  3. Recall three examples of ordinary individuals acting philanthropically from Lesson One: “What Is a Hero?” Heroism in Greek Mythology and Lesson Two: Heroism in English Myth.

  4. Describe philanthropic activities with which you, your friends and family are or have been involved.

  5. How do indiviuals commit to philanthropy?

  6. Do you think that our community needs to be aware of non-profit philanthropy resources?

  7. Name as many foundations or non-profit organizations as you can.

  8. How best can we prepare a knowledge base of philanthropy in our community? Share the prompt responses with the others in the class with a class recorder

    Preparation for Service:

  9. Needs Assessment: The students should brainstorm causes or social concerns that have significant meaning to them. This generated list will serve as the foundation for their service. Students should put the needs into categories. Each class may generate different needs, however the following example may be helpful:

    • Youth Needs Recreation Health Services Counseling Nutrition
    • Senior Citizens Transportation Adult Day Care Nutrition Friendship
    • Education and Local Schools Tutorial Help Technology Early Childhood programs Conflict Resolution
  10. Give each member of the class Handout One: America’s Second Harvest that describes a nationwide hunger relief program. Read and discuss with the class. There are many chapters that welcome student volunteers.

  11. Ask students about their reflections on hunger in the United States and the world. Ask them to recall school and community food drives. Ask what the commitment should be (just at holidays, all the time).

  12. Identify and discuss other community programs and what the role of that program has in the community. Develop ways individuals/ students could give of their time, talent or treasure or act as an advocate.

  13. Have the students select peer groups of three or four students to begin compiling their community resource manual.

  14. Before the close of each class session, have the students reflect on the activities of the day: what they did, what needs to be done, how they assess the group progress.

  15. Develop with the class a template to be used for consistent reporting and presentation in their manual so that each group covers the same or very close to the same information.

  16. Develop a class outline for the manual that includes a table of contents, index and credits. Each group must develop the same amount of information about the organization it has chosen. The following should be included: name of the organization or group, purpose or mission statement, volunteer opportunities available, address, phone number, key personnel, clientele, history, services provided, who is eligible for services, how one can obtain help from the organization, opportunities for volunteering. The information should also include a persuasive statement about support for this organization.

    Research Session(s):

  17. Use Attachment Two: Guide to Record Contact and Information, which will provide students the opportunity to contact organizations and individuals in preparation for selecting the organization or program that their group will include in the manual. While much more detail will be needed, the preliminary information will be helpful in organizing their information and selection. This initial stage may be done using the Internet, local phone book, as well as governmental and social service agencies.

  18. A cover page will be included with the information compiled in the guide. The cover page for each agency or organization will include an appealing visual depicting the purpose or mission statement of the organization.

  19. Each group selects a member to act as a final team member to compile the manual.

  20. Each group peer edits the manual until the editing is complete.

  21. Final compilation of the manual.


Completion of reflection on a daily basis, class participation, evaluate quality of research according to template class designed, evaluate participation in final reflection activity and evaluate peer group participation.

Cross Curriculum 

Students will explore and acquire information about opportunities for young people to provide service. As a result of their investigation, students will compile the information into a community resource manual to be placed with the guidance counselor and the library or media center. Attachment Two will serve as a guide to record contacts and information.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark HS.1 Define and give examples of motivations for giving and serving.
  2. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 01. Needs Assessment
      1. Benchmark HS.1 Identify a need in the school, local community, state, nation, or world.
    2. Standard VS 02. Service and Learning
      1. Benchmark HS.2 Identify specific learning objectives from the academic core curriculum that are being applied in the service-learning project.
    3. Standard VS 03. Providing Service
      1. Benchmark HS.1 Provide a needed service.
      2. Benchmark HS.2 Describe the goals of the project and their impact.
    4. Standard VS 04. Raising Private Resources
      1. Benchmark HS.1 Build a case for giving, explaining why resources (volunteers and money) are needed.
      2. Benchmark HS.5 Distribute private funds as a grantmaking committee.
    5. Standard VS 05. Integrating the Service Experience into Learning
      1. Benchmark HS.2 Evaluate progress on the service-learning project before, during, and after the project.
      2. Benchmark HS.3 Identify outcomes from the service.