Learning to Give, Philanthropy education resources that teach giving and civic engagement

Phone Calls
Lesson 3
Academic Standards
Philanthropy Framework


Students will be confident enough to schedule appointments to volunteer with the organizations they have chosen and make a professional telephone call.


One Forty-Minute Class Period


Students will generate a list of five to seven questions they will use to call a volunteer or service organization.


A telephone book, a telephone (a toy phone may be substituted), paper, and pencil

Instructional Procedure(s):

Anticipatory Set:
Ask the students to share stories of rude phone calls they have had. After a few stories, point out that preparedness will help avoid the perception of rudeness.


  • Have the students generate a list of questions that they might want to ask of the volunteer coordinators at the organizations. Write these questions on the board.

  • Ask for a volunteer who is willing to engage in a mock telephone conversation in front of the class. The instructor and the volunteer student should sit back to back and have a conversation using the list of questions just generated by the class.

  • After the conversation, ask the class to discuss what went well. What could be improved?

  • Ask for another volunteer. This time, the instructor will be a busy volunteer coordinator who doesn’t like children as volunteers. After the conversation, ask the class what to do when they encounter this type of situation over the telephone.

  • Give the students time to generate questions specifically for their organization and to find the correct phone numbers they will need. When they have finished, they should practice their phone calls with a partner with their backs to each other.


Students will design a list of questions to be used when they call their specific organization. The success of the lesson will be apparent based on anecdotal evidence from the students after they have made their actual phone calls.

Lesson Developed By:

Liz Hollingworth
Williamston Community Schools
Williamston Middle School
Williamston, MI 48895


Philanthropy Framework:


Patricia, Teacher Saginaw, MI11/1/2007 2:49:13 PM

This lesson was easy to follow. The students especially enjoyed the phone role play. The questions generated for the phone interview were insightful.

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