Unit Overview 

The story of one philanthropic community inspires students to tell the story of their own people and places. Students create stories and use the stories as a gift to others. Although it uses a video about West Michigan, this unit is easily adapted to any community, urban or rural.

Service Experience 
Students learn about the people and places in their own community (school, city or town, or state) and design a project to address a local need. As a demonstration of learning, students interview a local philanthropist and write a biography (can be someone from their neighborhood, family, or faith-based group). The published and illustrated biography becomes a gift when students read aloud to elementary students, share literacy strategies, and teach the concept of philanthropy.
Lessons in This Unit 
Unit: 
Our Unique Legacy of Giving
Lesson 2 of 3
Grades: 
6
7
8

In this lesson, students explore their personal responsibility to the community. They recognize that everyone has something to give, and that includes them. Students brainstorm local philanthropists and positive traits of their own communities. They assess local needs and make a plan to address one need through volunteering or advocacy at a later date.

Unit: 
Our Unique Legacy of Giving
Lesson 3 of 3
Grades: 
6
7
8

In this lesson, students create a gift of story modeled after the documentary The Gift of All. The students will research and/or interview a local philanthropist. Each student will write a biography telling the story of the philanthropist. They share the completed biography with an elementary student, teaching that student about philanthropy and the value of giving to the community.