Earning Trust

6, 7, 8

The learners identify the different communities with which they engage. They explore what it means to develop reciprocal trust within different communities.

PrintOne 20-minute lesson

The learner will:

  • describe ways to earn trust in communities and identify trustworthy behavior.


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Define community as a group with common interests and likes, or a group of people living in the same area with shared resources.

    Brainstorm different communities, such as schools, classrooms, family, faith-based organizations, clubs, teams, city, state, and friend groups. Write specific examples on the board or chart paper.

  2. Talk about whether they trust the individuals to the same degree in each community and whether they are trusted in each community. For example, there may be a higher level of trust in a family community than in a state community.

  3. Discuss why trust is a valuable trait in a community. Discuss possible problems in any community if the community members do not trust one another.

  4. Ask someone to read the following scenario:

  5. David went to a sale at a big sport store in his town. He needed a tennis racquet because he was going to take beginner tennis lessons. He wasn't sure which racquet to buy because there were many different sizes, weights, and grips. He looked around for someone to help him, but there wasn't anybody available. David picked out a racquet that was on sale and bought it. At his first tennis lesson, the instructor said that the racquet was a little small for David. David played anyway, and on one swing, he cracked the racquet. The next day, he tried to return the racquet, but the customer service representative said, "We can't take it back because it is broken. You were probably playing roughly with it." David felt angry, and he left the store with his broken racquet. He didn't have enough money to buy a new one, and he didn't want to spend any more money at that store.

  6. Discuss the scenario. Ask, "Why do you think David does not want to shop at this store anymore? How did the store lose David's trust? What could they have done differently to gain David's trust?" 

    Discuss local stores and businesses that have earned the trust of their customers. Discuss what they do that builds trust with customers.

  7. Say, "All of the communities you engage with are affected by trust in similar ways - members gain and lose trust through their actions and attitudes. What do you do to build trust with your parents or guardians so they want to trust you with responsibility, choices, and freedom? How about your teachers? Neighbors? Brainstorm a chart with two headings: What can I do to earn their trust? What does a trustworthy community look like? Are the columns the same?

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.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.11 Identify a corporation's responsibilities to its community.
      2. Benchmark MS.4 Identify and describe the actions of how citizens act for the common good.
      3. Benchmark MS.5 Describe the responsibility students have to act in the civil society sector to improve the common good.
      4. Benchmark MS.8 Identify and describe examples of community/social capital.