What Is a Philanthropist?
  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.1 Define philanthropy as the giving and sharing of time, talent, or treasure intended for the common good.

This lesson will introduce students to the concept of philanthropy. As a class, they will brainstorm possible ideas for the word philanthropist. The students will learn that even young people can be philanthropists.

PrintOne Forty-Five Minute Class Period

The learner will:

  • list possible definitions for philanthropist.
  • discuss characters/setting of the story, The Lion and the Mouse. How did the characters change? How can the characters be philanthropists? 
  • retell the story, The Lion and The Mouse, in peer groups with a focus on philanthropy.
  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Tell the students “Today we are going to learn a really big word.” Show the size with a motion of hands stretched out. Get the students excited about this word by telling them “It’s a word WAY bigger than a first grade word, way bigger than a second grade word, maybe even bigger than a grownup word.”


  2. Write the word PHILANTHROPIST on chart paper. Have the students repeat the word several times together. Introduce essential question, “What is a philanthropist?” Lead a class discussion generating ideas about what a philanthropist is. Write all suggestions on the chart. The chart should remain on display throughout the unit for students to come back to as needed.

  3. Show the students a picture of a lion and a mouse. Tell them that you are going to tell (read) them a story is about a philanthropist. As the story is shared with the students, tell them to “Pay close attention to the mouse and see if you can figure out the good deed the mouse has done."

    Relate doing a good deed to being a philanthropist.

  4. Discuss the problem/solution from the book: ask the students to recall what happened at the beginning, middle and end of the story. How did the lion change? How was the lion able to help the mouse? How was the mouse able to help the lion? Which character(s) in the story were philanthropists, and how?

  5. Review what it means to be a philanthropist and talk about what the mouse did as a philanthropist. Define philanthropy as "sharing what you know, have, and do with others." 

  6. Sing the song, "What Is a Philanthropist?" from the handout below.


Assessment will be teacher observation of student responses during the group discussion and retelling of the story in peer groups.