Philanthropy and Children Who Are Homeless
Through a study of the Orphan Train in social studies and language arts, students gain an understanding of the historic roots related to homeless children in American society and the philanthropic efforts made to improve the conditions of these children.
Students will identify how the Orphan Train was an example of a philanthropic effort to aid children who are homeless, and investigate how that philanthropic effort continues today.
Students will exhibit empathy for the children who rode the Orphan Train through journal writing. They will read articles that are often first person essays about the children's experiences. The students will then determine what rights were denied homeless children in the late 1800s and early 1900s and take a stand on whether or not the Orphan Train was a philanthropic activity that met the needs of these children.
Using the philanthropy timeline from the Learning to Give website, students will explore the many philanthropic activities that occurred during the period of the Orphan Train that ran from l854-1924 and create a class philanthropic timeline. Students will analyze effects of these events on the country and the world.
Students will read information and determine whether or not Charles Loring Brace was indeed a philanthropist. After they have "profiled" Brace, they will write a paragraph about the characteristics of a philanthropist using Charles Loring Brace as an example.
Students select an issue area and research on the Internet, specifically the Learning to Give briefing papers to identify philanthropists and philanthropic organizations who have an interest in addressing that issue. Using the information gained from research, students write a persuasive letter to a philanthropist or philanthropic organization in support of a worthwhile cause in the community.
The purpose of the lesson is to create an awareness of local agencies that provide services for needy people, teens, and families in the community. Students will also learn the motivations for giving and see how help is provided to the community through the four sectors of the economy. Students will research and select a community agency and plan a service-learning project.