Doing the Right Thing

6, 7, 8
Keywords & Concepts: 

Learners identify the motivations of Jackie Robinson that fueled his courage in the face of criticism and hate. They discuss what could make some people do something difficult even when they are afraid.

PrintOne 20-minute lesson

The learner will:

  • identify times when doing the right thing is difficult.
  • discuss the motivations of Jackie Robinson to do the difficult thing.
  • identify personal motivations to do courageous acts.


  1. Anticipatory Set

    Ask the learners to brainstorm examples of times people might be afraid to do the right thing. For example, stand up to bullying, take public transportation, or say no to peer pressure. Talk about what people might be afraid of. 

  2. Remind the learners about Jackie Robinson's courage. He was a proud and competitive man who chose to do the right thing when all the pressure was for him to back down. His purpose was driven by a need to represent Black athletes and lead the way for others to get equitable treatment. 

  3. Ask the students to think about they were brave in the face of fear. Ask them what motivated them to set aside fear and take action. Then have them pair up to discuss this question with a partner. After a few minutes of partner discussions, ask for volunteers to share with the whole group what drove Jackie Robinson.

  4. Write the key ideas from the discussion. (Examples: He was acting in the interest of the common good. He thought he could endure the insults for three years because the outcome was worth it. He wanted to play ball because it was his passion and strength. He felt it was the right thing to do.)

  5. Ask the learners to star the key ideas that could motivate them too. What motivations of Jackie Robinson's do they share? What would motivate them to do something difficult even though they are afraid?

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark MS.4 Describe the characteristics of someone who helps others.
    2. Standard PCS 02. Diverse Cultures
      1. Benchmark MS.2 Describe the importance of hearing all voices in a community and respecting their right to be heard.
      2. Benchmark MS.3 Give an example of how philanthropy can transcend cultures.
  2. 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.
      2. Benchmark MS.3 Identify and give examples of stewardship in cultural traditions around the world.
      3. Benchmark MS.4 Identify and describe the actions of how citizens act for the common good.
      4. Benchmark MS.5 Describe the responsibility students have to act in the civil society sector to improve the common good.