Public Trust

6, 7, 8

Students learn about public trust and identify characteristics of public figures that merit trust. They also discuss how they can use their own time, talent, and treasure to support trustworthy politicians, sports figures, corporations, and celebrities.

PrintOne 20-minute lesson

The learner will:

  • identify attributes of public trust.
  • discuss how to promote public trust.
  • student copies of Handout One: Paul Newman


Newman's Own.

Wikipedia "Paul Newman"


  1. Anticipatory Set

    Teacher: In the previous lesson,we learned that communities build trust through their actions. Today,we will look at public trust. Politicians, journalists, and major corporations want to earn the public trust. But appearing trustworthy and being trustworthy are not the same thing. One aspect of developing trust is through honesty in which words and feelings match thoughts and actions.Through today's communication methods, people hear news of what is going on in the world from many sources; it is not always easyto tell whichpeople are trustworthy.

  2. Have students raise their hands if they can think of the name of a public person or company that they trust (believe their words and actions match) in the following categories.

    • Can you think of a politician you trust?
    • Can you think of a TV personality you trust?
    • Can you think of a sports star you trust?
    • Can you think of a retail store you trust?
    • Can you think of a celebrity you trust?

  3. Tell the students that they are going to read about a celebrity who also owned a major corporation. After reading they will discuss whether this person/company is trustworthy and why or why not.

  4. Give each student a copy of Handout One: Paul Newman. Have them read and discuss the article in small groups.

  5. As a whole group, discuss how Paul Newman and Newman's Own earned public trust.

  6. Discuss how students themselves can use their own time, talent, and treasure to support trustworthy politicians, sports figures, corporations, and celebrities. Define advocacy as "to write or speak or act in favor of a person or ideal." Discuss whether we have a responsibility as citizens to be advocates and to take action to support public figures who show trustworthiness.


Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Define philanthropy as individuals and organizations providing their time, talent, and/or treasures intended for the common good throughout history and around the world. Give examples.
      2. 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.
    2. Standard PCS 07. Skills of Civic Engagement
      1. Benchmark MS.4 Analyze information to differentiate fact from opinion based on the investigation of issues related to the common good.
  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.