Biggest Commons Problem of All—What Is It (The)

Grades: 
9, 10, 11, 12

Learners will match a major social problem with a foundation that is trying to help solve the problem and research its work.

Lesson Rating 
0
Duration 
PrintTwo Fifty-Five Minute Class Periods
Objectives 

The learner will:

  • define a major social issue as a "commons problem." ·
  • describe how a foundation or other nonprofit agency is helping to solve the problem.
Materials 
  • Rubric for "Commons Problem Paper" (Attachment One)
  • "The New Philanthropy-A Hands On Way of Giving" Unit Quiz (Attachment Two)

Instructions

Print
  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Write the term "commons problem" on the board. Have the learners write down what they think the phrase means. Give them a minute to write something down and then start writing their answers on the board. After the learners have exhausted their supply of answers, explain to the learners that, for our purposes, a "commons problem" would be a problem that is shared by "the whole group of people.

  2. "Next, have the learners write down at least three "commons problems" that affect their community. Let them brainstorm for about two minutes, and then start listing problems on the board.

  3. Using the computer lab, classroom computer, and/or library, let the students select what they feel is a commons problem, research it, and research the foundation or nonprofit that is helping to solve this problem. Distribute Rubric for "Commons Problem Paper" (see Attachment One) and discuss the task with the class. Share the research findings in a class setting or with the community (as indicated in Experiential Component).

  4. Have the students look at the Millennium Development Goals for the major commons problems in the world and how nations are working together to lesson these problems. 

    • http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/

     

Assessment 

"The New Philanthropy-A Hands-On Way of Giving" Unit Quiz (see Attachment Two)

Cross Curriculum 

The learners will present their findings on "commons problems" to members of the student council or various community leaders at a community forum held during their class period or after school. This will give the learners an opportunity to present what they feel are important commons problems and give suggestions on how they can be solved through the cooperation with various foundations and/or nonprofit agencies. It will give community leaders an opportunity to work with students in a cooperative effort. Various invitees include the mayor of the city, city commissioners, police chief, school superintendent, CEO's of major companies in town, parents, and other concerned citizens.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 03. Philanthropy and Economics
      1. Benchmark HS.9 Analyze a major social issue as a "commons problem" and suggest ways the civil society sector could help to resolve it.
    2. Standard PCS 07. Skills of Civic Engagement
      1. Benchmark HS.1 Utilize the persuasive power of written or oral communication as an instrument of change in the community, nation or the world.