Sectors? What Sectors?

6, 7, 8

The purpose of this lesson is to assist students in identifying the different sectors in our society and the role each plays.

Lesson Rating 
PrintTwo to Three Sixty-Minute Class Periods

The learner will:

  • list reasons why water is an endangered resource.
  • identify four sectors in American society (government, private or business, nonprofit or independent, family).
  • describe the role and responsibilities each of the four sectors plays in water conservation.
  • Pictures of wildlife affected by pollution
  • Sectors of American Society (Attachment One)
  • Poster board
  • Markers, colored pencils, crayons


  1. Anticipatory Set:Give each student a picture that depicts the effects of pollution on various animals that live in or near water. (National Geographic Magazine often has such pictures.)

  2. Ask students to study their pictures and hypothesize the reasons for the results of the picture. Brainstorm a class list of the ways that water is an endangered resource.

  3. Ask students if they know the difference between the government, business/private, independent/nonprofit, and family sectors in American Society. (Note: Most will not know all four.) Provide a description of each using Sectors of American Society (Attachment One).

  4. In cooperative groups, ask students to brainstorm, discuss, and compile a list of the responsibilities for water conservation for each of the four sectors defined. Each group will be responsible for one sector. It is advised that there be multiple groups for each sector to get the maximum number of suggestions.

  5. Each group will construct a poster showing the name of the sector, what the sector typically does, and what its function is in our society. Then they will orally present their findings to the class.

  6. Using the information presented, ask students to construct a Venn diagram of four intersecting circles showing how the four sectors' responsibilities and functions are interrelated.

  7. Students will then write in learning logs what they believe the responsibility of each of the four sectors is regarding water as an endangered resource.


Students will be assessed on their posters, Venn Diagrams, and on their entries in their learning logs.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.5 Identify the business, government, family, and civil society sectors.
    2. Standard DP 02. Roles of Government, Business, and Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.4 Compare and contrast the roles of business, government, civil society sector, and family.
  2. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.11 Identify a corporation's responsibilities to its community.