A Loyal Friend

6, 7, 8

Students brainstorm ways to build capital in a trust bank account. They read and discuss a Celtic folktale and discuss the role of communication in building trust.

PrintOne 20-minute Class Period

The learner will:

  • brainstorm ways to build a trust bank account.
  • read a folktale about trustworthiness.
  • connect the text to real situations.


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Write the word misunderstanding on the board. Say, "Saturday morning, you are waiting with your bike at Collins Park for your friend to show up. Meanwhile, unknown to you, your friend is waiting at Aman Park.Your friend has always been trustworthy in the past. What do you feel? What should you say to your friend when you see each other?" Discuss.

  2. Explain the concept of a trust bank account (similar to social capital). When you build up lots of positive experiences with a friend (like doing what you say you'll do), your trust capital is high with that person. It is like a bank account of positive, trusting feelings. One negative experience can't empty the account. When you have a trustworthy friend, single mistakes don't make them untrustworthy. Communication to understand and apologize can bring the balance back in the trust bank account. Brainstorm actions that add to the trust bank account. Brainstorm actions that deplete the trust bank account.

  3. Give each student a copy of the Celtic folktale "Beth Gellert" to read, or read it aloud to the learners. /resources/beth-gellert

  4. Discuss as a whole class or in student groups the theme of trustworthiness in the story.

Cross Curriculum 

This character education mini-lesson is not intended to be a service learning lesson or to meet the K-12 Service-Learning Standards for Quality Practice. The character education units will be most effective when taught in conjunction with a student-designed service project that provides a real world setting in which students can develop and practice good character and leadership skills. For ideas and suggestions for organizing service events go to generationon.org.

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.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Define the phrase <i>community/social capital</i> and discuss how it relates to all communities.
      2. Benchmark MS.4 Describe the characteristics of someone who helps others.
  3. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.8 Identify and describe examples of community/social capital.