Taking Action (Private-Religious)

9, 10, 11, 12
Having gained an understanding of the need for the world to be fixed, the learners will now identify specific social problems and create projects and programs to help fix them.  
PrintOne - Fifty Minute Class Period
The learner will:
  • identify specific social problem areas in need of “fixing” in the home, school, and or immediate community.
  • demonstrate group teamwork skillsin thinking critically as well as practically to address social problems.
  • use his/her knowledge and understanding of how even small acts of kindness, tikkun olam, are significant to “fixing” social problems and propose an action plan utilizing an act(s) of kindness to address an identified social problem.
None for this lesson


  1. Anticipatory Set:Greet each learner that comes into classroom with a smile and a warm welcome. Once everyone is seated ask them how being greeted in this manner made them feel. Ask them to share their thoughts as to why you might have greeted them in this manner (ulterior motivations?). Now ask the learners if anyone, a total stranger perhaps, has ever smiled at them as they were walkingalong the sidewalk, in a store, at the mall, in a restaurant, etc.. Ask them to share their thoughts as to why a total stranger might have greeted them in this manner (ulterior motivations?) For those who have experienced a “stranger’s smile” ask them if they recall that it had any affected on how they felt the rest of that day? Ask if they recall doing anything differently, perhaps as a result of the unexpected smile? Ask if they returned the smile? If so why if not why not?

  2. Share with the learners that a smile and a warm welcome are two very small and seemingly insignificant acts of kindness. Ask the class to share other acts of kindness they have seen or they have had shown to them by others. Encourage the class to come up with 20 or more such acts of kindness, listing them on the display board as they are being shared.
  3. Share with the class that just as there are numerous acts of kindness being shared every day, there also exist numerous social problems. Briefly reviewing prior lesson discussions. Solicit and list on the display board at least ten social problems that they have seen or they have personally experienced (i.e. poverty, homelessness, intolerance, bullying, destruction of private property, drug abuse, hunger/malnutrition, etc.).
  4. With both lists now before the learners, announce that, as a class, having identified and discussed any number of social problems they are now asked to think of ways to improve things closer to home utilizing one or more of these acts of kindness.
  5. Seek learner input to construct a list of suggestions for the improvement ofsocial conditions close to home.
  6. Arrangethe class into teams and require each team to identify one social issue, close to home, in need of “fixing”, and utilizing the acts of kindness list, develop a plan that is designed to “fix” the identified social problem.
  7. Conclude this lesson by having each group share their proposed plans with each other for the sake of a peer review and revision. (Optional: Allow some time for each group to "operationalize" their proposed revised plan of action and report back to the class following the allotted time period designated for this activity as to its impact in “fixing” the identified social issue.)
Involvement in class discussions, the extent and seriousness of thought evident in the group planning process, as well as, evidence of understanding and useful and purposeful feedback given during the group-sharing of proposed actions plans will form the basis for learner assessment. (Optional: Should the Experiential Component be assigned, each learner will also be assessed based on his/her involvement in the project as planned by his/her group as well as on providing the required reflections upon the completion of the assigned project.)
Cross Curriculum 
Optional: Should the actual implementation of a group’s plan to address (fix) an identified social problem be assigned, each learner will be involved in the project as planned by his/her group and provide the required reflections upon the completion of the assigned project.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 05. Philanthropy and Government
      1. Benchmark HS.10 Discuss the results of private citizen voluntary action intended for the common good on public policy changes.
  2. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark HS.1 Define and give examples of motivations for giving and serving.
      2. Benchmark HS.4 Cite historical examples of citizen actions that affected the common good.
  3. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 01. Needs Assessment
      1. Benchmark HS.1 Identify a need in the school, local community, state, nation, or world.
    2. Standard VS 04. Raising Private Resources
      1. Benchmark HS.3 Describe a detailed action for service.