"I Just Learned About the Coolest Person"

9, 10, 11, 12

Learners will share information about individual philanthropists and write bio-poems about them.

Lesson Rating 
PrintOne or Two Fifty-Minute Class Periods

The learner will:

  • present information on the public lives and work of a chosen philanthropist.
  • write bio-poems highlighting the work of philanthropists.
  • Note Taker's Guide (Handout One, Lesson Two)
  • Presentation Rubric (Handout Two, Lesson Two)
  • Bio-Poem Guide (Handout One, Lesson Three)
Home Connection 

Students should take home the Note Taker's Guide they filled out in class and the Bio-Poem Guide. Students should share information about the philanthropists with parents, then invite parents to create bio-poems based on two of the Note Taker's Guides.


  1. Anticipatory Set: Write the term "bio-poem" on the chalkboard. Working in teams of two for one minute, have the learners define what it is. After a minute, share the responses.

  2. Distribute Bio-Poem Guide (Handout One) to students and then write a bio-poem about yourself, or someone the students know, on the board. Then have students write a bio-poem on themselves. Ask for volunteers to share their poems with the class.

  3. While distributing Note Taker's Guide (Handout Two, Lesson Two) to the class, instruct students to prepare to give their presentations (assemble their visual aids, review their notes, etc.)

  4. Call on students to give their presentations. Students should use the Note Taker's Guide to organize information being presented. (Note: It is a good idea to warn presenters when they are close to their allotted time limit. For example, use a pre-determined hand signal when the presentation has run four minutes.)

  5. Presentations should stop about fifteen minutes before the class period ends. Then instruct the class to use their Note Taker's Guides to create bio-poems based on three of the presentations they heard today. These should be started in class, and finished as homework.


Use the Project Rubric (Handout Two, Lesson Two) for presentation assessment.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 06. Philanthropy in History
      1. Benchmark HS.2 Give an example of individual philanthropic action that influenced national or world history.
  2. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark HS.10 Identify reasons why historic figures acted for the common good.
      2. Benchmark HS.4 Cite historical examples of citizen actions that affected the common good.