Trust Circles

6, 7, 8

Learners compare two communities to which they belong using a Venn diagram and descriptive words related to trustworthiness.

PrintOne 20-minute lesson

The learner will:

  • identify words the class has used and defined in this unit related to trust.
  • choose two communities to which he or she belongs.
  • compare and contrast the two communities in a Venn diagram.
  • write a reflection on the analysis.
  • a sheet of blank white paper for each student
  • character education journals


  1. Anticipatory Set

    Draw two intersecting circles on the board, as a Venn diagram. Teacher: In this unit about trustworthiness, we have used many words related to trust and community. Today we are going to plot these words in a Venn diagram to compare and contrast the trustworthiness of two communities.

  2. Tell the students to brainstorm words they have used in this unit related to trust. Some of these may be displayed in the room (truthful, honest, reliable, keep promises, loyal, unbiased, humble, accountable, cooperative, fair, promote understanding, reputation, good name).

  3. Give each student a blank piece of paper and have them draw two intersecting circles. Tell them to make sure they draw it so there is room to write in the overlapping area of the circles.

  4. Then have each student label their diagrams with the names of two communities to which they belong. (They may choose from family, school, faith-based organization, club, sports team, academic team, etc.) Each student chooses his or her own pair of communities to compare and contrast. Each circle is labeled with one community name.

  5. Tell the students to compare the trustworthiness of the two communities by writing the trust-related words (brainstormed above) on the Venn diagram. They may consider how trusting they feel of each community, how trusted they are in each community, and how the public views the trustworthiness of the community. Note that some of the traits may fall outside both circles.

  6. In the last five minutes of class, have students reflect in their character education journals about the trustworthiness of the communities to which they belong and how they could contribute to making them more trustworthy.

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

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. Standard DP 02. Roles of Government, Business, and Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.4 Compare and contrast the roles of business, government, civil society sector, and family.
    3. Standard DP 03. Names and Types of Organizations within the Civil Society Sector
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Recognize terms that describe the civil society sector.
  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.