A Better Place

6, 7, 8

After designing their own philanthropic projects, students will select one service project to implement.  Learners will collaboratively  select and design a service plan for implementation and assess their designed service plan using a learner designed rubric and project reflection. 

PrintThree 50 Minute Classroom Periods (with open end for project completion)
  • analyze qualities of a practical and valuable service project.
  • describe the steps of creating a successful philanthropic activity.
  • design a service project.
  • evaluate the experiential component utilizing their student-created rubric as well as class and individual reflections.
  • Display Board
  • Teacher Notes for a Quality Service Learning Project (Handout One)
  • Sample Project Proposal (Handout Two)
  • Sample Service Projects (Handout Three)
  • Project Proposal Presentation Rubric (Handout Four)
Teacher Preparation 

Prior to beginning this lesson, review Teacher Notes for a Quality Service Learning Project (Handout One). Be sure to include these elements that make for a successful service project in your class discussions and decision-making processes.

Home Connection 

Teacher may ask parents to become participants in the community action plan. This would be a great way to involve parents as partners in the educational process.




  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Review many of the philanthropic acts performed by the philanthropists presented in Lesson Two. Relate these acts to the needs during the time these acts were performed.

  2. Review and discuss the terms: citizenship, civic engagement, civic responsibility/virtue, and social action.

  3. Have the learners brainstorm the qualities of a valuable and successful service project as reflected in what they knew and have come to know as a result of their research of philanthropists and their philanthropic acts. List these qualities on the display board.

  4. Lead the learners in a group discussion intended to identify authentic present day needs in their own local community that could be addressed by the class.

  5. Distribute Sample Service Projects (Handout Three) and lead a class discussion about the appropriateness of each of these sample projects. (NOTE: Assist the learners in recognizing their abilities/limitations, what they can and cannot do given time, money and other constraints.)

  6. Narrow the identified community needs that could realistically be addressed by the class, to include two or three workable projects.

  7. Have the learners self-select one of the two or three projects that they are most interested in and form interest groups.

  8. Distribute the Sample Project Proposal form (Handout Two) to each interest group and review the elements of this proposal form to ensure learner understanding.

  9. Assign each interest group the task of coming up with a plan of implementation for their selected service project and set a date for the groups' presentation of their proposed plans to the class.

  10. Share with the learners the rubric they will use in assessing each groups plan Oral Presentation Rubric: Project (Handout Four)

  11. On the assigned date for presentations, have each of the two or three groups present their proposal. Instruct the observers of the presentations to listen, and taking into consideration the Oral Presentation Rubric: Project Proposal (Handout Four) enter into a group discussion about each proposal.

  12. Upon the completion of the presentations and group discussion concerning the proposed service plans, identify, using consensus, the plan that might best meet a community need and still be feasible.

  13. Once the service plan has been identified, carry out the plan, being sure to follow the school and district requirements for such activities.

  14. Upon completion of the project, have the learners respond to their experience by developing a display for the school that represents a personal reflection: writing words for a song, poem, or a rap; drawing a representativeicon or picture; composing a narrative or artifact, etc.


The assessment will include an evaluation of the learners participation in the project as well as his/her personal response to the experience.

Cross Curriculum 

This lesson will prepare learners to identify and conduct a class generated service project.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Define philanthropy as individuals and organizations providing their time, talent, and/or treasures intended for the common good throughout history and around the world. Give examples.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 05. Philanthropy and Government
      1. Benchmark MS.2 Define civic virtue.
      2. Benchmark MS.8 Define civil society.
    2. Standard PCS 07. Skills of Civic Engagement
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Identify and research public or social issues in the community, nation or the world related to the common good. Form an opinion, and develop and present a persuasive argument using communication tools.
      2. Benchmark MS.3 Participate in acts of democratic citizenship in the classroom or school, such as voting, group problem solving, classroom governance or elections.
  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. Standard VS 02. Service and Learning
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Select a service project based on interests, abilities and research.
    3. Standard VS 03. Providing Service
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Provide a needed service.
      2. Benchmark MS.2 Describe the goals of the project and their impact.
      3. Benchmark MS.3 Describe the task and the student role.
      4. Benchmark MS.4 Demonstrate the skills needed for the successful performance of the volunteer job.
      5. Benchmark MS.5 Articulate and demonstrate the safety procedures that are part of the volunteer experience.
      6. Benchmark MS.6 Describe the procedures and the importance of sensitivity to the people with whom students are working.
    4. Standard VS 05. Integrating the Service Experience into Learning
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Describe different processes of program evaluation.
      2. Benchmark MS.2 Evaluate progress on the service-learning project before, during, and after the project.
      3. Benchmark MS.3 Identify outcomes from the service.