The Vocabulary of Philanthropy

Students will play a matching game on teams to expose them to or reinforce their familiarity with many of the terms associated with philanthropy.

Author: Urban EdVenture Faculty

PrintAbout 56 minutes (6 minutes for the game; 20 minutes each for sharing definitions and building a study tool; and 10 minutes for reflection)

Students will develop familiarity with the vocabulary of philanthropy.

  • timer
  • vocabulary necklaces (yarn, 2 index cards per necklace, vocabulary words and definitions)
  • copies of the Vocabulary Study Tool 
  • glue sticks 
  • scissors
  1. Have students form a circle and distribute one vocabulary necklace per student.

  2. Play the game:

    • Have the student with the “philanthropy” necklace read the definition that is attached to the necklace.  Students will rapidly realize this is not the definition for the word. This helps set up the activity.
    • Explain that the word on their necklace matches the definition on another necklace.
    • Ask students to read their word and the definition on their necklace before putting it on.
    • Students put the necklace on with the word hanging in front and the definition on their backs.
    • Using context clues and prior knowledge, students will work together as a team to find matches. “When you find the definition for your word on someone else’s back, stand behind them.”  Encourage students to help one another.
    • The game ends when a circle is formed.  Every word is connected to a definition.
    • Monitor this activity to make sure that students have made good selections.
    • Have the students read the words and definitions around the circle - correcting for mispronunciation and explaining definitions as needed.
  3. Construct the Vocabulary Study Tool:

    • Distribute sheet one and sheet two of the handout to students.
    • Ask students to cut on dotted lines only.
    • They spread glue in the margins of sheet two.
    • Paste sheet one on top of sheet two.
    • The vocabulary “doors” open to reveal definitions below.
  4. Ask students to do the reflection and share thoughts from their reflection with the class.


In a reflection, ask students to write about the following: When you are studying something new, why is it important to understand the associated vocabulary?  Share a time when you experienced this.

A Word About Reflection: A teacher should gauge what he or she feels will work best for reflection: a whole class discussion, asking for volunteers to share after completing a reflection, or keeping written reflections private. The type of reflection a teacher asks students to do can depend on several factors, including the time left after other activities are completed, the tone of the class, how personal the reflection topic may be, and how strong the class bond is.