It Looks Like Philanthropy
  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 02. Roles of Government, Business, and Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.3 Identify ways that trust is important in all communities.

This lesson will characterize how individuals in everyday life need trust.  It will define philanthropy and explain how it works toward the common good within family, school, and neighborhood.

PrintOne Forty-five Minute Class Period

The learner will

  • list three ways that common good occurs in the family, school, and neighborhood.
  • illustrate common good within the family, school, and neighborhood.
  • Chart paper or a chalkboard
  • Blindfolds (5)
  • Common Good for Everyone (see Attachment One)
  • background information about Oseola McCarty, a hardworking woman who donated her significant savings to a university/resources/mccarty-oseola
  • Uncle Jed's Barbershop by Margaree King Mitchell
  • Word cards (philanthropy, trust, common good, family, school, neighborhood)
  • Mitchell, Margaree King. Uncle Jed's Barbershop. New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 1997.
  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Display this question: Is it possible to blindly trust other people to do what is right? Select five teams of two students. Explain that on each team there will be a follower and a leader. Each leader is to lead the follower around the room through an obstacle course by giving clues and directions. The leader is not to touch the follower at any time. Allow 20 seconds each for this demonstration. Select five new teams. This time, the leader will take the follower by the hand through the obstacle course. Time: 20 seconds each. During the third demonstration, allow the five leaders to give clues, directions, and hold the hand of the followers for the entire 20 seconds.

  2. Tell the students to reflect on their experiences by answering:

    • What did you observe?
    • How did it feel to be led by instruction, touch, or clues and touch?
    • Would you change anything? Why or why not?
    • Did you need to trust the other member of your team in order to be successful?
    • Did it make a difference if your partner was a personal friend?
    • What would have happened if you did not work together?
  3. Display the following words and any definitions on chart paper:

    • philanthropy (giving of one's time, talent, or treasure for the sake of another or the common good)
    • trust (confidence or faith in a person or thing)
    • common good (the wealth shared by the whole group of people)
    • rules
    • family (a group of people connected by blood or marriage and sharing common ancestry)
    • school
    • neighborhood The chart paper should be prominently displayed in the classroom for future reference. Solicit meanings of words that do not have definitions along with examples of each from students.
  4. Explain that family, school, and neighborhood represent various groups to which we belong. Ask how each group is related to trust, common good, rules, and philanthropy. Solicit examples of how each works interdependently by asking:

    • What do you do for members of your family, school, or neighborhood?
    • How does it help?
    • Do you think others would do the same thing for you? Explain that these are acts of philanthropy.
  5. Explain to the students that, as U.S. citizens, we all have the right to benefit and use resources from the common good, but also have responsibilities. We have the responsibility to uphold constitutional rights. Ask students to name some of these. (Obey the law by allowing others to practice their religion, assemble peacefully, not deprive others of life, liberty or their property, or discriminate on the basis of race, etc.) We can also contribute to the common good through philanthropy.

  6. Read Uncle Jed's Barbershop to the students. What acts of philanthropy were observed?

  7. Read about Oseola McCarty (see Materials).Ask, "What act of philanthropy was she know for?" Donating $150,000 to a university. It is remarkable that this woman who earned so little was able to give so generously.

  8. Review the words trust and common good. Explain that in everyday life, people trust one another to do things that will make life better for them. Tell the class that when something is done to benefit the entire group, it is known as common good. Common good may occur within the family, school, as well as the neighborhood. Distribute Common Good for Everyone (see Attachment One). Tell the students that as they work independently, they should list some of the ways trust in others results in the common good for everyone.


The worksheet, Common Good for Everyone, will serve as the assessment for this lesson. Rubric 0 1 2 3 4 Gives one example for one or two categories Gives one example for each category Gives two examples for two categories Gives two examples for each category Gives three examples for each category