PrintThree Fifty-Minute Class Periods

The learner will

  • identify and understand the Fundamental Beliefs found in the Core Democratic Values.
  • reflect upon how the characters in the story Seedfolks encounter these Fundamental Beliefs as they not only helped sharing others, but also helps themselves.
  • recognize that the Fundamental Beliefs are a very essential ingredients in the forming of a community and providing for the common good.
  • "Seedfolks" Book(s)
  • "Seedfolks"Character Journals from Lesson One
  • Copies of the Core Democratic Values: Fundamental Beliefs (Handout One), one per student.
  • Copies of Tic-Tac-Toe: The Characters and the Fundamental Beliefs Assessment (Handout Two), one for each student.
Teacher Preparation 

If the students have not had exposure to the Core Democratic Values/Fundamental Beliefs, it is suggested that some time be spent discussing these with the students prior to or during this lesson so that they at least have a basic understanding. 



  1. Anticipatory Set:Remind the students that "...each of the thirteen characters we met in Seedfolks shared experiences of hardship, disappointment, or difficulty in their lives and in the community is which they found themselves, that is until things began to change!" Have the students share whether or not they feel or have felt any differently about themselves and the community in which they live. Ask the students ..."So....if you could, what would you change in your community and why?" Discuss.

  2. Show the American Promise video segment on "Whose Walls and Whose Rules" (Farmers Insurance Company has a free American Promise Teaching Guide and Video that is available upon request. See Bibliography for more information.)

  3. Discuss the video in light of the changes the students suggested be made in their own community.

  4. Distribute copies of the Core Democratic Values; Fundamental Beliefs (Handout One) and have the students read the directions at the top of this handout to ensure understanding.

  5. Share with the students that they will be looking at each of these Fundamental Beliefs to determine if and how they had any impact on the characters in Seedfolks. (i.e. Kim was allowed to honor her father-- although perhaps differently (diversity) from how others might do so-- without being interfered with (Pursuit of Happiness, etc.)

  6. Distribute copies of the Tic-Tac -Toe: The Characters and the Fundamental Beliefs (Handout Two) to the individual or pair of individuals (as assigned in Lesson One. Have them read and follow the directions at the top of their handout.

  7. When the students have finished recording their 'Xs' on their handout sheets for their originally assigned character in Lesson One, have them begin sharing, in turn,with the rest of the class what they determined to be the Fundamental Beliefs that played a role in the life of their assigned character.

  8. The rest of the class is to place their 'Xs" as suggested by the presenter(s), however the class may challenge the presenter(s) at any time to justify/defend how a particular character was impacted by a particular Fundamental Belief. Should the presenter(s) be unable to adequately defend/justify their position, by class consensus, the 'X' will be removed.

  9. Once everyone has shared and a general consensus has been reached as to who gets "Xs" where, have the students look at their completed Tic-Tac-Toe: The Characters and the Fundamental Beliefs sheets and share any thoughts or conclusions that come to mind.

  10. Conclude this lesson by having the students go back to the original question asked in the Anticipatory Set "If you could, what would you change in your community and why?" and have them write a paragraph about if and how what they would change in their community connects to the Fundamental Beliefs embodied in the Core Democratic Values and how such a change would promote the common good.


The completion and successful defense/justification of the Tic-Tac-Toe and the Fundamental Beliefs handout. the depth of understanding and reflection evidenced during group discussions, and the assigned paragraph suggesting how they might change their community, how this change reflects the Core Democratic Values/Fundamental Beliefs and promotes the common good, all form the basis for the assessment of this lesson.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Define philanthropy as individuals and organizations providing their time, talent, and/or treasures intended for the common good throughout history and around the world. Give examples.
      2. Benchmark MS.4 Give examples of how individuals have helped others.
    2. Standard DP 06. Role of Family in Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.2 Discuss the function of family traditions and role modeling in teaching about sharing and giving.
      2. Benchmark MS.3 Discuss the variety of family relationships in the nation's society.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark MS.4 Describe the characteristics of someone who helps others.
    2. Standard PCS 02. Diverse Cultures
      1. Benchmark MS.2 Describe the importance of hearing all voices in a community and respecting their right to be heard.
      2. Benchmark MS.3 Give an example of how philanthropy can transcend cultures.
      3. Benchmark MS.5 Discuss examples of groups denied their rights in history.
  3. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.4 Identify and describe the actions of how citizens act for the common good.