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An Introduction to Altruism

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  1. An Introduction to Altruism

  2. Watch, listen and follow the lyrics…

  3. Quick-Write #1 • Discuss how the message of this song relates to this class and this unit? 2) Discuss how the message of this song relates to you and your life.


  5. Definition ALTRUISM by definition is the principle or practice of unselfish concern for or devotion to the welfare of others.

  6. Quick Write #2 Based on the definition alone, brainstorm several people who demonstrate this word. These people can be famous or individuals in your life. What do they do to show altruism?

  7. Opposite of Individualism: Sadly, some foreigners view The United States of America as extremely individualistic. In other words, they believe that we are all selfish, only want to better ourselves and our own life, and simply don’t care enough about others. Other antonyms: selfish, egotistical, arrogant, narcissistic

  8. Quick-Write #3 Do you agree or disagree with this stereotype? Why or why not?

  9. History of Altruism - The French philosopher named August Comte coined the word altruism in 1851 and it was added to the English dictionary two years later. - However, all human kind has been demonstrating altruism since the world’s beginning. - Altruism is studied today by psychologists, biologists, theologians, anthropologists, political scientists, economists, sociologists, mathematicians and more.

  10. Yesterday and Today - Most societies acknowledge the importance of altruism in that it benefits a community as a whole. - Societies also understand that it is imperative to cooperate with one another rather than strive on conflict. Thus, it helps avoid war and instead, instills peace.

  11. Arguments - Some believe that altruism is human nature, while others disagree. • Some believe that altruism is hereditary, while others disagree. • Some believe that even animals purposely show altruism in their behaviors.

  12. Arguments Continued… - Many believe that all human beings are 100% self-interested. In other words, even if someone helps another, they are doing it for their own interest and essentially for the wrong reasons.

  13. Quick-Write #4 Do you believe that altruistic behavior is hereditary? Why or why not? AND/OR Do you agree or disagree that all human beings are 100% self-interested? Why or why not?

  14. Good Citizenship - As we get older, we will become more a part of our community. We should take part in actions that make up our civil duty. These types of things include: voting, jury duty, being aware of politics around you, and demonstrating altruistic behavior.

  15. Where do we see altruism? - All of the different kinds of organizations that you researched. - Within communities at the city (and within cities, like neighborhoods), state, national or global level - In schools, shelters, hospitals, governments, homes, etc…EVERYWHERE!

  16. Who demonstrates altruistic behavior? • Immediately, when thinking about altruism, we think of famous people such as Martin Luther King, Mother Theresa, Oprah and even celebrities who are doing good around the world. • Fact of the matter is however, that you do not need money to be altruistic. You simply need to sacrifice your time.

  17. Religion: -As we have learned by studying many genocides, we now understand that hatred often stems from intolerance, and oftentimes, this includes religion. -However, most, if not all WORLD religions have this one thing in common, and that is that they all believe in altruistic behavior.

  18. All of the below religions revolve around altruism: Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, Taoism, and many more…

  19. Three Characteristics of Altruistic Behavior: • Perceiving the need of another person • Being motivated by empathy to help the other person • Addressing the need by taking action without expecting a reward or recognition in return

  20. Reward In short, individuals who are sincerely concerned for the well-being of others are content with an internal, gratifying reward, other than a material reward or even verbal recognition.

  21. Quick-Write #5 Discuss a time when you or someone else has demonstrated an altruistic behavior, and HAS NOT expected anything in return (material or verbal).

  22. Altruism as a Unit • Obviously we will be serving and trying to better the community and world. • We will also be working on ourselves and how we can better this world that we live in.

  23. Connecting Resistance and Altruism • Resistance and altruism are intertwined when it comes to doing good. • Thus, in this unit we will demonstrate both by focusing on the current genocide in Darfur.

  24. What exactly will we be doing? - Perfecting our letters to Barack Obama and sending them (awareness and trying to make a change) - Learn even more about the genocide in Darfur. - Fundraising $$ for The Education Project in Darfur so that children can go to school (individual and as a team)! • During the fundraising event we will be spreading awareness so that students of I.H.S. become familiar with the atrocities in Darfur. • And more…

  25. How will we be graded? - Weekly and Nightly Logs - Letter(s) - Daily effort - Weekly journals - End of the unit portfolio and presentation - Fundraiser -Darfur assignments - Other…

  26. All of this combined… - All of this combined is a service learning project. - Service-learning is a method of teaching, learning and reflecting that combines academic classroom curriculum with meaningful service, frequently youth service, throughout the community. - Thus, we will be using our Darfur curriculum and knowledge and using it to raise money and spread awareness!

  27. Service Learning in Creative World • In service learning projects, students will have a lot of say in what goes on. There will be a lot of compromise, voting and cooperation that goes into our project (s). I will simply serve as the facilitator. In other words, I will not say, “this is the event and this is how it will be organized.” • HOWEVER, I encourage you to work hard because this unit can be very beneficial to you. On the other hand, it can do the opposite.

  28. Team • You and your class will be a team! Yes you are working together, but this is also a competition. • You will be competing against the other Creative World class. The class that raises the most money, will earn a pizza party. There will also be a prize given to the individual who raises the most money.

  29. Quick Write #6 What are some types of things that you would like to do during this unit? What ideas do you have?

  30. Getting Started…

  31. Plan of Action • Learn more about the genocide in Darfur and The Education Project, which is the organization which we will be fundraising for. This is so we will be able to spread awareness to the best of our ability. • Be placed in a group to brainstorm ideas to fundraise money AND spread awareness.

  32. Plan of Action cont. • Vote on one community fundraiser and/or one school fundraiser (or two school) • Also decide on little fundraisers. - can drives, penny wars, donation jars, etc. • Get to work! • Vote on one or two class representatives • Write letters to other organizations, parent’s place of employment, churches, family, etc; asking for monetary donations. You will do this individually.

  33. Plan of Action cont. • Prepare for our event (s)! • Sell Save Darfur t-shirts at lunch (possibly order more) • Set a monetary goal of $_______ • Watch the money roll in and inspire others within our Ionia Community and abroad! • Send money to our organization and feel great about doing it!

  34. Group Work: Groups of 3-4 students will come up with fundraising ideas for 1 of the following: 1) Think of a way to fundraise money from other students and staff at IHS AND 2) Think of a way to fundraise money from an event that will take place in our community

  35. Ideas These are simply ideas to get your minds working: • At IHS: Make some sort of food and sell it, have a dance, sell a product, gatorball tournament • Within community: spaghetti dinner (or other food), cook-off, car wash, snow shoveling, eating contest, bowling event, fun fair

  36. Your Ideas: • Once you brainstorm several ideas, take a vote within your group to see which ideas is best. • Then come up with specific ways as to how you are going to execute this fundraiser. Where will you get the supplies, money, word of mouth and advertising? You must think of all of this and more so that we can make an educated decision when we all vote. • Present your fundraiser! • Make your idea the one that we use!

  37. “Be the change that you want to see in the world.”~Gandhi Get fired up and creative!