Giving Beyond Measure—Diary of Anne Frank

6, 7, 8

Learners will examine the lives of individuals in the play, "The Diary of Anne Frank," in relation to community and philanthropy. They will compare the content of the play as a secondary source to the primary source, Diary of Anne Frank.

Lesson Rating 
PrintSix Forty-Five Minute Class Periods or Two and One-Half Block Schedule Sessions

The learner will:

  • recognize the roles of the main characters in the play, "The Diary of Anne Frank," as they impact the outcomes.
  • identify philanthropic concepts and values in the play, "The Diary of Anne Frank."
  • Altruism (n) Selfless concern for the welfare of others - altruist (n), altruistic (adj.), altruistically (adv.) Character (n) moral or ethical strength Civic responsibility (n) A person's duty or obligation to their community as a citizen Ennobled self (n) Defines when a person acts upon their own personal values and in turn experiences a feeling of personal satisfaction - defined by Amitai Etzioni, author of The New Golden Rule Ethical decision-making (n) Using a set of morals/values when problem-solving Human rights (n) Inalienable moral entitlement attached to all persons equally, simply by virtue of their humanity, irrespective of race, nationality, or membership of any particular social group. They specify the minimum conditions for human dignity and a tolerable life. Moral (adj.) Of or pertaining to conduct or character from point of right and wrong; teaching a conception of right behavior - moral (n) the lesson to be learned from a story, event or teaching, morals (n) standard of right and wrong, morally (adv.) Moral reasoning (n) The thinking process involved in making judgments about questions of right and wrong Philanthropy (n) 1. The giving of one's time, talent or treasure for the sake of another- or for the common good - Robert Payton, 2. Voluntary action for the public good -Robert Payton, 3. Voluntary giving, voluntary service, and voluntary association, primarily for the benefit of others - Robert Payton, 4. Giving and serving -Richard J. Bentley and Luana G. Nissan, 5. Active effort to promote human welfare, 6. A tradition, a spirit, and a sector of society - Maurice G. Gurin and Jon Van Til Sacrifice (n) The practice of offering something - sacrifice (v) to give up something of value for something else, sacrificial (adj.), sacrificer (n) Social justice (n) Justice applied to the framework of social existence; consideration of the requirements of justice applied to the benefits and burdens of a common existence
    • compare and contrast life in the "Secret Annexe" with their present day life experiences and events in their communities, nation and world. Compare the words and actions of the "first-person Diary" to the play.
  • Copies of the play, "The Diary of Anne Frank" (see Bibliographical References)
  • Role Play Cards (Handout Two)
  • Poster board
  • Art supplies
  • T-graph (Handout One)
  • Key Philanthropy Concepts (Handout Three)
Home Connection 

Interactive Parent / Student Homework: Encourage learners to discuss with parents the philanthropic concepts and/or values identified in the play. Complete Handout Three: Key Concepts of Philanthropy at home. Allow two days for completion.


Enzer, Hyman Aaron and Sandra Solotaroff-Enzer (Ed.). Anne Frank: Reflections on her Life and Legacy. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2000.

Frank, Anne. Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl. New York: Bantam Books, 1993.

Gies, Miep. Ann Frank Remembered: The Story of the Woman who helped hide the Frank Family. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1987.

Goodrich, Frances and Albert Hackett. The Diary of Anne Frank: Play and Related Readings. Houghton Mifflin College, 1996. ISBN: 0395833647.

Pfeifer, Kathryn Browne. The 761st Tank Battalion (African-American Soldiers). Twenty First Century Books, 1997. ISBN: 0805030573.

Rittner, Carol Ann. Anne Frank In the World. Armonk, New York: M.E. Sharpe, 1998. ISBN: 076560020X. (e book ISBN: 0585245932)


  1. Anticipatory Set: Begin class by asking the learners what they would do if they had to go into hiding because of persecution. What would they eat? How would they get food? Would they have clothes to wear? Would they need someone to help them?

  2. Review events of World War II. Include pertinent information such as the location of Germany and the date Hitler began to persecute the Jewish people. Review key philanthropic concepts, values and vocabulary. Discuss with students that stereotypes and prejudices that existed during WWII may have not parallel contemporary feelings.

  3. Review the timeline of US involvement in World War II and the liberation of the concentration camps. Instructor's Notes:

    • The teacher may wish to create student empathy and understanding for what is like to experience bias or prejudice.
    • At this point, talk about the Liberators, the African-American units, (particularly the 761st Tank Battalion) that was sent into the camps to liberate those in the Dachau, Buckenwald and Gunskirchen.
    • (U.S. Army Center of Military History)
    • Refer to The 761st Tank Battalion (African-American Soldiers) by Kathryn Browne Pfeifer (see Bibliographical References).
  4. Introduce the play as well as the characters that come to life in the "Secret Annexe."

  5. Using whole group instruction, have learners read the play, "The Diary of Anne Frank." Once learners have completed the reading, discuss the pertinent events.

  6. Distribute Handout One: T-graph to each student. Instruct them to complete the first section of the T-graph based on the information discussed regarding the "Secret Annex."

  7. Instruct learners to take a few minutes to complete the second column of the t-graph based on their views of their community today.

  8. Instruct learners to use their completed t-graph to write a journal entry which focuses on comparing and contrasting the experiences of the people living in the "Secret Annexe" with their present day life experiences. Learners will share their entries with the class.

  9. List and review the main characters in the play on the board.

  10. Learners will role-play various characters from the play (See Handout Two: Role Play Cards), followed by discussion of philanthropic concepts and/or values after each role-play.

  11. Ask learners what they believe to be differences between the Diary and the play.

  12. Have the learners write a short one-page constructed response in support of or in disagreement to the following statement: The events, words and deeds in the play about Anne Frank are exactly as those in the Diary which she wrote.

  13. Instruct learners to create an individual poster highlighting a philanthropic idea found in the play. Discuss and display the completed posters.

  14. Give Handout Three: Key Concepts of Philanthropy to learners and allow two evenings to complete.


Assessment will be based on teacher's observation, role-plays, discussion, t-graphs, and the student's completion of the journal entry and poster.

Use the following rubric for evaluating Handout Three:

Rubric for Handout Three: Key Concepts of Philanthropy

  • Four Points: Eight items completed with examples from play given. At least four different characters are used to identify concepts. Concepts and terminology used effectively. Excellent effort and completed within the time allotted. Sentence structure, grammar, spelling and usage demonstratedwith at least 90% accuracy. All philanthropy terms, concepts spelled correctly and defined clearly.
  • Three Points: Six questions answered with good detail and with three different characters used as examples of philanthropy terminology and concepts. Sentence structure, grammar, usage and spelling demonstrated with at least 75% accuracy. Demonstrates knowledge of philanthropy concepts through usage. Good effort and completed within the time allotted.
  • Two Points: A minimum of five questions completed with at least two different characters used as examples of the key concepts. Sentence structure, grammar and usage are adequate. Effort demonstrated but may not have been completed in time allotted. At least 50% accuracy.
  • One Point: An attempt was made to answer some questions. Errors in spelling, grammar and usage. May not have been completed in time allotted.
  • Zero Handout Three not attempted. Handout Three not returned to class.

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. Standard DP 02. Roles of Government, Business, and Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.2 Give examples of needs not met by the government, business, or family sectors.
  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.4 Identify and describe the actions of how citizens act for the common good.