A New Perspective

6, 7, 8

Through role playing a scenario, students with different perspectives will make decisions about responsibility. 

PrintOne 20-minute lesson

The learner will:

  • identify with a role in the situation.
  • argue for a decision, based upon his or her perspective.
  • examine the role of irresponsibility in this situation.
  • A copy of Handout One: Responsibility Situation for each learner (except three students who are taking the role of the teacher)


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Say, "Two people are at the same place, eating or doing the same thing, yet, when I ask them what they are eating or doing, I often get two different answers. Why is that?" Allow 1 minute of discussion about seeing situations from different perspectives.

  2. Tell the students that today they will have an opportunity to examine a situation of responsibility (following through on a task) from three different viewpoints, or perspectives. Tell them that three people will take the role of a science teacher and will have separate instructions. Ask three people to stand aside (this is your teacher group).

  3. Have the remaining students move into two groups. They will all read the same scenario on Handout One: Responsibility Situation. Each group will read the scenario and then discuss it from the point of view of one of the characters: one group will discuss and respond to the questions from Betty's point of view, and the other group will discuss and respond to the questions from Angela's point of view. Allow 7 minutes for the groups to read, answer the questions, and select a representative to speak to the teacher as Betty or Angela.

  4. While the students are meeting in their respective groups, the teacher meets with the three students designated as the teacher. Explain to the students that they will be hearing from Betty and Angela. Tell the teacher characters the basics: "Betty has a D in science and you, the teacher, have told Betty that if she gets a C or better on her final exam, then you will grade her with a C for the class. You, the teacher, have suggested that Betty study with Angela in preparation for the final exam. Your role as teacher will be to listen to the perspective of both students.You three, as teacher, must make the final decision on the grade for Betty.

  5. Invite the representatives for Betty and Angela and the teacher (3 students) to the front of the room.

  6. Allow Betty to be first in sharing her story and suggesting what the teacher should do.Angela will then share her perspective. Allow 3 minutes for each student's presentation.

  7. Then give the three teachers one minute to huddle and make the final decision.

  8. Teacher: So, teacher(s) what will the grade be, and what's your reasoning for the grade?

  9. After the teachers share their decision, reflect on the decision as a whole class. Does it seem fair? Discuss each person's responsibility to self and others. Discuss personal responsibility to the common good.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.4 Give examples of how individuals have helped others.
  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.5 Describe the responsibility students have to act in the civil society sector to improve the common good.