Dodging Responsibility

6, 7, 8

The learners brainstorm the effects of taking responsibility and not taking responsibility around issues they care about.

PrintOne 20-minute lesson

The learner will:

  • compare and contrast the effects of taking responsiblity or dodging responsibility.


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Ask the learners to identify an issue or need they care about, such as kids who are homeless, an environmental concern, or a missing sports program. A common issue youth identify is related to mental health. They may brainstorm several issue areas together. After making the list, have them each select one they will individually focus on for today's lesson. They don't need to make it known to others.

  2. Using mental health as an example, ask the learners what it might look like for a person or group to take responsibility for improving mental health.  Listen to several responses. 

    Ask what it might look like if people didn't take responsibility for the issue in their community.

  3. Tell the learners to draw a T-chart on a piece of paper with "Take Responsibility" on one side and "Don't Take Responsibility" on the other side. They write their chosen issue at the top of the paper.

    Then give them 5-7 minutes to write the benefits and consequences on each side of the chart. (What are the benefits and consequences of taking responsibility for their issue of concern? What are the benefits and consequences of not taking responsibility?) 

  4. Bring the whole group together to share their ideas about the benefits and consequences of taking responsibility and not taking responsibility. 

  5. Share the following quote by Josiah Charles Stamp and discuss what it means to the learners: "It's easy to dodge our responsibility, but we cannot dodge the consequences of dodging our responsibility." 

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.4 Identify and describe the actions of how citizens act for the common good.
      2. Benchmark MS.8 Identify and describe examples of community/social capital.