Dodging Responsibility
  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.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.
      2. Benchmark MS.8 Identify and describe examples of community/social capital.

Students investigate the benefits/consequences of taking responsibility and not taking responsibility.

PrintOne 20-minute lesson

The learner will:

  • construct ideas about benefits/consequences of being responsible and not being responsible.
  • evaluate risks with each.
  • Chart paper/markers
  • Display board
  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Ask the students to reread the definitions of responsibility that they wrote and posted around the room in the previous lesson.

  2. Teacher: At the end of the previous lesson I asked you to think about what is working within a person to choose to take responsibility, and what motivates a person to be responsible. Please take two minutes to write a response to those questions.

  3. Ask two or three students to share their written thoughts about what motivates people to take responsibility. Write some key ideas on the board. Allow 3 minutes.

  4. Ask the students whether they consider consequences [conclusions following specific actions] when choosing to act responsibly. Discuss.

  5. Draw a T-chart on the board with "Take Responsibility" on one side and "Don't Take Responsibility" on the other side. Tell the students to create a similar T chart on their paper. Then give them time to think about the benefits and consequences on each side of the chart. (What are the benefits and consequences of taking responsibility? What are the benefits and consequences of not taking responsibility?) Tell the students to try to think of context when they are brainstorming benefits and consequences (helping a friend, doing homework, doing chores, protecting someone, etc.).

  6. Tell students to write three or four responses under the first column and three of four responses under the second column.

  7. Note: If time limits are an issue at this point, have one-half of the class brainstorm taking responsibility while the other half lists the benefits/consequences of not taking responsibility.

  8. Bring the whole class together to share their ideas about the benefits and consequences of taking responsibility and not taking responsibility. Write some of their responses in the T-chart on the board.

  9. Tell the students that they have just listed pros and cons of acting responsibly. Say, "Given your responses on this chart, which approach seems to have the most benefits? Ask students to provide evidence of their decision.

  10. Share the following quote by Josiah Charles Stamp: "It's easy to dodge our responsibility, but we cannot dodge the consequences of dodging our responsibility." Discuss this quote and have the students attempt to paraphrase it into a simple statement.

  11. Say, "The next time we meet, we'll examine a man who took responsibility for what he believed and experienced the consequences."