Preparation-The Right Way to Help and Forms for Poetic Reflection

3, 4, 5

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.

Lesson Rating 
PrintOne 45 Minute Class Period (Introduction and Training) and One 30 Minute Class Period (Explanation of the Poetry and Art that will be done at the beach)

The learner will:

  • classify items into categories.
  • explain the importance of acting safely.
  • summarize the importance of philanthropic behavior and working for the common good.
  • write a haiku and cinquain poem.
  • Bag of debris from the beach (some garbage and some driftwood, feathers, bones, etc. that belong there). NOTE: Be prepared in case you find some "unpleasant" items on the day of the visit such as tampons, condoms, syringes, etc.
  • One pair of rubber gloves
  • Paper and pencils
  • Forms for Poetic Reflection (Handout One)
  • International Coastal Cleanup Data Sheet (Handout Two)


  1. Anticipatory Set:Say to the class, "I took a walk on the beach yesterday, and I collected some things in this bag. What do you suppose I found?" Give the learners an opportunity to respond.

  2. Review philanthropy as "the volunteering of our time, talent, or treasure for the common good." Ask, "Which element(s) will we use in cleaning the beach?"

  3. Distribute International Coastal Cleanup Data Sheet (see Handout Two) and review the categories briefly. Review how to mark four lines and then cross through it with a slash to record in groups of five for easier counting and tabulating at the end.

  4. Begin pulling out different items one at a time and have students identify whether or not each item belongs on the beach. If it is trash, categorize and tally it. (Use overhead or board to demonstrate.)

  5. Ask why we would have to go clean the beach at the park. (It can't clean itself.) Ask what safety measures students should take when they go to the beach for the clean-up.

  6. Ask how we can be like Walter in Just a Dream which was read yesterday.

  7. Divide the class into groups of three or four in preparation for the project. (Picking numbered sticks out of a can that correspond with student numbers works well). Students one and two can pick up garbage while student three records on the tally sheet. Student four can hold the garbage bag and help locate items on the tally sheet. (These jobs may be rotated every ten minutes if desired.)

  8. Distribute Forms for Poetic Reflection (see Handout One) and present the different types of poetry to be written at the park: haiku and cinquain. Write an example of each type together to be sure students understand. When you go to the beach, you may want a print-out of the form for students to follow.

  9. Inform students that they will also be drawing a sketch of a dune scene at the park. They must have their drawing tools ready (pencil, crayons, or colored pencils).


Categorizing activity Tally sheets

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 03. Providing Service
      1. Benchmark E.4 Demonstrate the skills needed for the successful performance of the volunteer job.
      2. Benchmark E.5 Articulate and demonstrate the safety procedures that are part of the volunteer experience.