Philanthropy—A Day at the Beach
Get to know a local natural resource--its history, funding, what it offers, and how citizens can preserve it for the future. Students use their time and effort to answer a call for help to protect the environment for the common good, either with direct action or advocacy. This project includes many cross-curriculum subjects, including reading, writing, math, science, social studies, as well as putting life skills into practice. (Although written using Michigan dunes as an example of natural resources, this unit can be easily adapted for cleanup at any local park or body of water.)
The teacher will introduce the concept of philanthropy and lay the groundwork for the students to participate as philanthropists in the International Coastal Cleanup, a volunteer action for the common good.
The teacher and/or a representative from the Lake Michigan Federation will help prepare the class for their philanthropic project of volunteering their time and effort by participating in the International Coastal Cleanup for the common good. This should be accomplished a day or two before the event.
Students will be active philanthropists by volunteering their time to clean debris from the beach at a local park for the common good. (This activity can be adapted to your location, i.e., clean any public park area.) They will estimate and weigh their bags, total their tally sheets and make observations. They will also create poetry and draw sketches of the beach environment.
This lesson will be a review of motivation and procedures for doing the cleanup; compare findings; draw conclusions; share feelings; create a song/rap or a poster from the philanthropic endeavor at the beach to reflect on the unit.
The students will write a persuasive essay to sum up the activities of this unit and to become advocates of philanthropy and of preserving and protecting the Earth. This essay may be published in the local or school newspaper or entered into a writing contest.