I Decide

Grades: 
9, 10, 11, 12

Learners will identify qualities that exemplify philanthropists and recognize those qualities in a local philanthropist. They will recognize the local philanthropist by creating a newspaper article for inclusion in the local paper.

Teacher Note: Prior to teaching this lesson, the teacher will collect stories from the local newspaper about people who have been philanthropic to use as examples with the learners.

Lesson Rating 
0
Duration 
PrintFour Forty-Five Minute Class Periods Plus Time Outside of Class
Objectives 

The learner will:

  • identify qualities that define a philanthropist and match them with local citizens who are contributing to the common good.
  • use journalistic terms to describe the structure of a newspaper article.
  • produce and publish a newspaper article highlighting a philanthropist from the community.
Materials 
  • Stories of acts of philanthropy done by people in the community collected in advance by the teacher from the local newspaper.
  • Qualities of a Philanthropist Rubric (Handout One)
  • The Newspaper Article (Handout Two)
  • The Interview (Handout Three)
  • Reflection Piece Writing Assignment (Handout Four)
Home Connection 

Students will discuss Handout One: Qualities of a Philanthropist Rubric with their family’s and ask for their suggestions in choosing a local philanthropist.

Bibliography 

Rusnak, Stephanie M. "Writing a Newspaper Article." [http:www.media-awareness.ca] (24 June 04).

Instructions

Print
  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Ask the learners to draw on past knowledge (including the philanthropists studied in Lesson One) to have a silent brainstorming session to develop a list of qualities/characteristics that exemplify philanthropists. Ask the learners write the characteristic on the board or large sheets of paper posted on the classroom wall, as they think of them. Encourage learners to write as many as they can or add tally marks next to existing characteristics with which they agree (Activity should take no more than five minutes.)

  2. Day One: Focus on the qualities on the board and facilitate a classroom discussion or debate on whether these qualities exemplify a philanthropist. Erase qualities that don’t fit the description or are duplicates, and keep the qualities that do fit the description. Discuss whether these qualities contribute to the common good of the community.Focus on the qualities on the board and facilitate a classroom discussion or debate on whether these qualities exemplify a philanthropist. Erase qualities that don’t fit the description or are duplicates, and keep the qualities that do fit the description. Discuss whether these qualities contribute to the common good of the community.

  3. Conduct a quick vote on ten (more or less) qualities that learners will use as a qualifier for "finding" a philanthropist in their community.

  4. Teacher Note: The teacher can choose to do the following activity with students in teams of three or as individuals. Distribute Qualities of a Philanthropist Rubric (Handout One). (Individuals or teams may need more than one copy of the handout as they decide on a philanthropist to write about.) Have the learners fill in the ten qualities that the class selected in the appropriate spaces on their rubric handout. Explain that they will be using the characteristics to choose a local philanthropist to write about in a newspaper article. Five out of the ten qualities must be met when choosing a philanthropist, including a brief statement of how the philanthropist demonstrates those five or more expectations.

  5. Share with the class the stories of local philanthropists collected from the local newspaper as examples. Discuss what characteristics are evident for each philanthropist in the newspaper stories.

  6. For homework, the students take home Handout One and discuss with their family’s who in the community might be a philanthropist (someone who demonstrates at least five of the ten characteristics.) Remind the students that this person does not have to be "famous." It can be a family member, neighbor, peer, youth group or religious leader. Teacher Note: Be sure the students understand that they will be asked to interview the philanthropist selected. Therefore, they should choose one who they think will be accessible for an interview.

  7. Ask the students to gather as much information as possible about the person they choose, completing the worksheet, and writing additional facts about the philanthropist on the back of the sheet.

  8. Day Two: Check that each student or group has identified a philanthropist and has some information about that person on Handout One.

  9. Draw an inverted pyramid on the board and ask students, "What does this figure have to do with a newspaper article?" After students have had an opportunity to offer possible answers, explain that a newspaper story begins with the broad basic facts and then gets to the specifics of the story. Distribute The Newspaper Article (Handout Two). Have the learners complete the handout as the teacher guides them through it, explaining the order of a newspaper article and the criteria involved in writing an article.

  10. Explain that the learners will practice their writing techniques by creating a newspaper article about the community philanthropist they have selected and researched. Distribute The Interview (Handout Three). Read through the handout, making sure learners understand what is expected of them.

    • Go over the Newspaper Article Rubric with the learners:
    • Hook = 2 pts.
    • 5 W’s in first paragraph = 5 pts.
    • Details included in first paragraph = 1 pt.
    • At least one quote from philanthropist = 1 pt.
    • Summary in first paragraph = 1 pt.
    • Catchy ending = 2 pts.
    • Evidence of peer editing in rough draft = 1 pt.
    • Written in third person point of view = 1 pt.
    • Relatively error free = 1 pt.
    • Over the next several weeks, learners should conduct interviews (by phone, in person, or by e-mail) with local philanthropists, write newspaper articles highlighting those philanthropists, peer edit the articles and create final copies (this work can be done in class or as homework).
    • When the writing is completed, have the learners present their articles to their classmates and look for their articles in the paper. Use the following Presentation Rubric to evaluate the learners:
    • Presented clearly = 1 pt.
    • Eye contact maintained = 1 pt.
    • Presented creatively = 1 pt.
    • Content interesting = 1 pt.
    • Informative presentation = 1 pt.
    • The articles can be collected into a class newspaper, or submitted to the schol or local newspaper for publication.
  11. Over the next several weeks, learners should conduct interviews (by phone, in person, or by e-mail) with local philanthropists, write newspaper articles highlighting those philanthropists, peer edit the articles and create final copies (this work can be done in class or as homework).

  12. When the writing is completed, have the learners present their articles to their classmates and look for their articles in the paper. Use the following Presentation Rubric to evaluate the learners:

    • Presented clearly = 1 pt.
    • Eye contact maintained = 1 pt.
    • Presented creatively = 1 pt.
    • Content interesting = 1 pt.
    • Informative presentation = 1 pt.
  13. The articles can be collected into a class newspaper, or submitted to the schol or local newspaper for publication.

  14. At the end of the unit, distribute Reflection Piece Writing Assignment (Handout Four). Ask the learners to reflect on their learning about philanthropy from this unit.

Assessment 

Instructor observation of the qualities brainstormed by the students. Learner responses about philanthropist’s qualities. Instructor observation of student arguments/reasoning during voting/selection process of qualities. Reflection pieces submitted in written form. Learner notes from the interview will be collected but not graded. Learner reflection pieces on the interview and experience.

Cross Curriculum 

Learners will interview a philanthropist from the community, write a newspaper article to be printed in a local community newspaper recognizing the community’s philanthropist, and orally present their article to their peers.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark HS.4 Describe and give examples of characteristics of someone who helps others.
    2. Standard PCS 03. Philanthropy and Economics
      1. Benchmark HS.4 Give examples of how civil society sector giving by individuals and corporations can impact communities.
    3. 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.