Oprah Winfrey
  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Define philanthropy as individuals and organizations providing their time, talent, and/or treasures intended for the common good throughout history and around the world. Give examples.
      2. Benchmark MS.4 Give examples of how individuals have helped others.
    2. Standard DP 02. Roles of Government, Business, and Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Describe how different needs are met in different ways by government, business, civil society, and family.
      2. Benchmark MS.6 Identify significant contributions to society that come from the civil society sector.
    3. Standard DP 05. Role of Foundations
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Name at least one grant-making foundation and generally describe its purpose.
      2. Benchmark MS.3 Describe how individuals and organizations can use a foundation for giving.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark MS.2 Discuss why some animals and humans will sacrifice for the benefit of unknown others.
      2. Benchmark MS.4 Describe the characteristics of someone who helps others.
  3. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Define and give examples of the motivations for giving and serving.
  4. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 01. Needs Assessment
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Identify a need in the school, local community, state, nation, or world.

A celebrity philanthropist may become focused on a specific cause because her life is connected to the cause. Learners read about Oprah Winfrey's philanthopic work and then reflect on issues that are important to them.

PrintOne 20-minute class period

The learner will:

  • identify the philanthropic focus of Oprah Winfrey.
  • determine why certain issues are important to them.
  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Write this quote on the display board: "I feel the capacity to care is the thing which gives life its deepest significance." --Pablo Casals (cellist) Ask the students what they think motivates some celebrities to care deeply about a specific cause or issue and how this caring enriches their lives.

  2. Share a link to an article about Oprah Winfrey's foundation. Tell them to read the mission and purpose and discuss what causes Oprah cares most about and why she is driven to be generous in that area.

  3. Explain the concept of enlightened self-interest [to sacrifice time and resources to the benefit of the whole, which, in turn, benefits self; what is good for the community is good for me].

    Discuss whether all small acts of kindness are also good for oneself. Discuss.

  4. As a whole group, brainstorm issues that are important in the community and world. As a prompt, ask what they would like to see improved by the time they are adults.

  5. Have learners reflect on whether something personal in their lives causes them to care about a certain issue. Some young people may share their personal stories, or they may write about a connection privately.