Clara Barton to the Rescue

Grades: 
6, 7, 8

This lesson will explore the contributions made by Clara Barton as a nurse and founder of the American Red Cross. This is an example of the women from the Industrial Era making a difference through contributions to society. This lesson incorporates a service project connecting the students to the Red Cross.

Lesson Rating 
0
Duration 
PrintThree Forty-Five Minute Class Periods
Objectives 

The learner will:

  • describe how Clara Barton helped her country in time of war and in peace time.
  • trace the American beginnings of the Red Cross and recall incidences when the Red Cross came to the aid of American communities.
  • conduct a blood drive or advocate for checking the organ donation box as a service learning project.
Materials 
  • Notes on Clara Barton, 1821-1860 (handout below)
  • Parent Letter (handout below)
Teacher Preparation 

Arrange for a speaker from the local Red Cross to come to the class to tell about the needs they address and how. The goal is for the students to feel empathy for the need and see the community as a place where needs are met.

Home Connection 

Send home the letter attached below to inform families of the blood drive. If any parents have objections to their student participating, they should be directed to call and discuss the matter with the teacher. Revisions may be made in the sample letter. Parents may also be invited to participate as either donors or volunteers.

Instructions

Print
  1. Anticipatory Set: Share this quote by Barbara Bush:

    “Some people give time, some money, some their skills and connections, some literally give their life's blood. But everyone has something to give.”

    Lead a discussion about bodily donations as a form of philanthropy. We define philanthropy as "giving time, talent, or treasure for the common good." Where does giving blood or signing up for organ donation on our drivers license fit in that definition?

  2. Have a speaker from the local Red Cross speak to the class about the needs they address and how. The goal is for students to feel empathy and some responsibility to help, as well as see their community as a place where people's needs are met. Encourage the students to ask questions about ways they can volunteer or advocated to help.

    Introduce background on how the American Red Cross came into existence.

  3. Using Notes on Clara Barton, 1821-1860 (handout), introduce Clara Barton. Discuss her contributions before the Red Cross and then tell how she came to establish it in the United States.

  4. Discuss the Red Cross and why it is so important. Have the students list at least four possible situations when the Red Cross might be present to give aid.

  5. Lead a discussion about how women like Clara Barton saw a need and made a contribution to society that affected the social climate then and now. Her work increased services provided to the public through the creation of a nonprofit group. Nonprofits rely on citizens as contributors of time, talent, and treasure to do their work.

    What can we as students do support the work of the local Red Cross or other similar organizations?

    Note: listen to the experiences and connections of the students. If they have family members with needs or personal interests, follow those leads to determine the service project related to health. 

  6. Suggest that the class consider a service project related to the Red Cross. Direct them to organize a blood drive or campaign to encourage people to sign up for organ donation. Discuss why it would be important.

  7. Brainstorm what is needed to plan and carry out a project. This may involve some research, phone calls, establishing a plan, and advertising. Put plans on the chalkboard or a large sheet of paper as they are suggested.

  8. Secure permissions from within the school and with families. 

  9. ​When completed, the students can calculate the impact of their campaign or drive and communicate it publically.

  10. Plan a celebration and thank the Red Cross volunteers.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.4 Give examples of how individuals have helped others.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 06. Philanthropy in History
      1. Benchmark MS.5 Identify positive philanthropic historic acts or events that helped build the community, state, and nation.
  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.
  4. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 02. Service and Learning
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Select a service project based on interests, abilities and research.
    2. Standard VS 03. Providing Service
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Provide a needed service.
      2. Benchmark MS.2 Describe the goals of the project and their impact.
      3. Benchmark MS.3 Describe the task and the student role.