Philanthropy: Individuals and Their Surroundings
The purpose of this unit is to help students understand that each of them is an important and potentially influential member of American society. Every person is not only an individual, but also a member of the various groups that make up our society. Students learn that building community capital and trust helps diverse people to compromise and make decisions for the common good. They learn that government is not an ambiguous group of laws or faceless people, but rather the sum total of all of its people.
An activity and picture book discussion illustrate the tendency for people to see differences as a reason to fight. As we see in political divisions, society can be torn apart by factions. Differences provide an opportunity to be curious about someone else. Factions may also have a positive side when like-minded people collaborate to accomplish something difficult.