Woody Guthrie sang about how to make the world a better and fairer place for all. This lesson uses the song This Land is Your Land to communicate the concepts of philanthropy, private property, and “commons." Students learn the benefits of taking action for the common good, and they identify commons areas in the school.
Motivated by the song "This Land is Your Land," learners locate areas on a U.S. map and discuss the definitions of community, philanthropy, and volunteer. They picture themselves as volunteers, helping others.
The students learn the difference between public and private, and categorize a list of places as public or private. They determine what is their responsibility to care for public (common) areas and share their new understanding by making posters about taking care of "common" or public areas in the school.
This lesson explores the difference volunteers make in our world. The children recognize that even they can volunteer and make a difference in their community.
This culminating activity gives students an opportunity to teach about our land to others. They spread the word that "commons" are needed, and that when people work together nothing is impossible.