PrintOne 45 to 50 minute class period

The learner will:

  • define the terms advocacy, common good, humane treatment, and animal welfare.
  • discuss people who chose to advocate for a particular cause.
  • identify a variety of advocacy strategies.
  • name some of the characteristics of all good advocates.
  • explore his/her personal advocacy style(s).
  • articulate the role of advocacy and how private citizen voluntary action intended for the common good can impact public policy.
  • Video Clip(s) of Jane Goodall’s work with chimps https://www.animalplanet.com/search/?q=JANE+GOODALL
  • Copies of Handout One: Jane Goodall’s Biography
  • Copies of Handout Two: Characteristics of Advocates
  • Copies of Handout Three: Personal Advocacy Styles Survey
Home Connection 

Learners are asked to interview family members and/or friends and ask if they have ever advocated for something or if they choose one thing to advocate for, what would it be and share this information in future lessons.

  • Goodall, Jane.  The Chimpanzees of Gombe.  Boston: Houghton Mifflin Publishing, 1986.
  • Goodall, Jane.  Reason for Hope: A Spiritual Journey.  New York: Warner Books. 1999.
  • Nichols, M. Jane Goodall. National Geographic.  December, 1995. 105-131.
  • Learning to Give Briefing Paper Nonprofit Advocacy https://www.learningtogive.org/resources/nonprofit-advocacy
  • NBC News. "Africa's Oldest Chimp, a Conservation Icon, Dies." (Gregoire's Story) https://www.nbcnews.com/id/wbna28368980 Dec 23, 2008

For additional related topics and materials see: 



  1. Anticipatory Set:

    As the learners enter the classroom have the word advocacy written in bold letters on the display board. Once everyone is settled show the video clip entitled "Gregoire’s Story" found at https://vimeo.com/2565364

  2. Distribute and have the learners take a few minutes to read Handout One: Jane Goodall’s Biography.

  3. Point to the word advocacy on the display board and have the learners define advocacy as “to write, speak, or act in favor of or support of.” Tell the learners that advocacy is the work of civil society, nonprofit, or volunteer sector.

  4. Write the term common good on the display board and have the learners share what they know about its meaning.

  5. Discuss and clarify the definition of common good as “individual citizens having the commitment and motivation to promote the welfare of the community (even if they must sacrifice their own time, personal preferences or money) to work together with other members for the greater benefit of all.”

  6. Write the words humane treatment and animal welfare on the display board and have the learners share what they know about the meanings. If needed, define humane treatment (fostering kindness, respect, empathy, and a sense of responsibility for both human and nonhuman animals) and animal welfare (the compassion and respect towards animals as living, responsive beings, that must be protected under the law). The humane treatment of animals and animal welfare benefit the common good by helping to make our world a better place in which to live.

  7. Lead a discussion as to how Jane Goodall’s work is an example of advocacy and encourage them to speculate on some of the reasons why she might have chosen to advocate on behalf of the humane treatment of animals.

  8. Have the learners identify other individuals who have advocated or are advocating for the environment or humane animal treatment and identify possible motivations for their advocacy.

  9. Have the learners identify some of the more contemporary changes that have come about as a result of groups of people advocating for a cause (i.e. banning smoking in restaurants and public buildings, leash laws for pets, laws against rooster/dog fighting, limits for hunting and fishing, pollution devices on cars, etc.) and discuss the impact of these changes in terms of their contribution to the common good.

  10. Engage the learners in a discussion about techniques or strategies one might use to advocate for a cause and also personal characteristics that would be helpful for all good advocates to cultivate.

  11. Distribute copies of Handout Two: Characteristics of Advocates to learners and encourage a discussion to ensure that everyone understands each identified characteristic.

  12. Distribute copies of Handout Three: Personal Advocacy Styles Survey to learners and have each learner complete the survey.

  13. Conclude this lesson with a brief sharing of what the learners might have discovered about themselves while engaged in this personal inventory of Handout Three: Personal Advocacy Styles Survey.

  14. Have the learners write and hand in a one-page response to this prompt: As I reflect on my responses to the Personal Advocacy Styles Survey I realize that I … (They should give examples and supporting evidence.)

  15. Assign a “homework” project that asks the learners to interview family members and/or friends and ask them if they have ever advocated for something or if they would choose one thing to advocate for, what would it be. They are to take note of their responses and be prepared to share this information in the next class period.


Learner involvement in the classroom discussions will be the major portion of the assessment for this lesson. Consideration could also be given to assessing the learner’s response to the prompt “As I reflect on my responses to the Personal Advocacy Styles Survey I realize that I ...” based on the depth of thought and completeness of the learner’s response.

Cross Curriculum 

Read about the service-learning project called Batty for Bats by students who were taught using this Understanding Advocacy lesson to guide student learning and action.

Ms. Hull is a high school teacher who said, "everyone can make a difference in this world, but without the chance to see that personal power and responsibility, many students won't take that chance or step out of their comfort zone." For Ms. Hull, philanthropy and service-learning help her students make real, meaningful connections to the community.  

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 02. Roles of Government, Business, and Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark HS.6 Describe how the civil society sector is often the origin of new ideas, projects and innovation and social renewal.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark HS.4 Describe and give examples of characteristics of someone who helps others.
      2. Benchmark HS.5 Describe civil society advocacy organizations and their relationship to human rights.
    2. Standard PCS 05. Philanthropy and Government
      1. Benchmark HS.10 Discuss the results of private citizen voluntary action intended for the common good on public policy changes.
      2. Benchmark HS.9 Explain the role that public interest groups play in public policy formation.
  3. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark HS.1 Define and give examples of motivations for giving and serving.