Breakfast for Champions (A)

6, 7, 8

Students will understand the impact that philanthropy has worldwide both locally and worldwide. The final experiential component will have students celebrating the good works of local philanthropists (Champions for the Common Good), and engaging in philanthropic activities themselves by planning and holding an awards ceremony to honor local philanthropists. The students will decide whether to follow up the award with other donations of time, talent and/or treasure.


Lesson Rating 
PrintTwo Forty-Five Minute Class Periods

The learner will:

  • identify individual philanthropists and non-profit groups within the community and describe how their work aids the common good.
  • use proper form to write and send invitations to a celebration.
  • evaluate the contribution of community volunteers and organizations.
  • Access to local information (Chamber of Commerce)
  • Invitation form (in English text)
  • Cardstock
  • Envelopes
  • Art supplies
  • Various party supplies
  • Decision Making Grid (Attachment One)
  • Assessment Rubric (Attachment Two)
Home Connection 

Interactive Parent / Student Homework:Students will be responsible for providing the food for the “Breakfast for Champions,” event. This will mean that they will be making dishes in their own homes to pass, and perhaps asking for parental help in putting the event together. (Check the school district policy about bringing food from home.)


PACE decision making model provided by the Michigan Council for Economic Education. [no longer available] 


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Show an envelope and ask students to imagine what could be in the envelope. Ask them to reflect on what it means to receive mail. Once students have established that some mail (i.e., letters, cards and invitations) is pleasant to receive, open the envelope and read the following invitation:


    Congratulations! Your class has been chosen to honor our local Champions for the Common Good. These are people or groups that have contributed funds, time and resources to help our community. Each of you will have the distinct honor of writing a special letter, inviting one of these individuals or non-profit groups to our First Annual “Breakfast for Champions Award Ceremony.”



    Teacher’s name

  2. Review Lesson One: Was Nobel Noble? Meet the Man about Albert Nobel and his philanthropic ideals as well as the perpetuity of his original gift. Also review Lesson Three: A Design of Our Own in which students reflected on the common qualities shared by the Nobel Peace Prize winners.

    • Discuss who the local “Champions for the Common Good” are, what their contributions to the community have been, and what characteristics they share with the Nobel Peace Prize winners.

    • Ask students how it felt to receive the invitation. If students do not state that it made them feel excited or proud, lead them to the conclusion that receiving mail of this kind usually makes us feel proud of our accomplishments and makes us want to participate in the event that we have been invited to. Connect the Anticipatory Set to the teaching of this lesson by telling students that they are going to learn about writing invitations that will compliment the recipients and encourage them to come to our celebration.

    • As a class, identify the different parts of an invitation (such as the salutation, the body and the closing), and brainstorm positive phrases to include in the invitations, making sure to encourage the philanthropists to send someone who might be willing to speak a few minutes (5-10), sharing more about their cause.

  3. With a partner, have students choose nominees (from the pool the class decided on), and write a rough copy of an invitation, giving ample time for both the writing and the proofing of the document.

  4. Ask students to copy their invitation onto cardstock, using their best handwriting and send the invitations.

  5. Certificates of appreciation should be designed and prepared for each selected individual or non-profit group.

  6. Students will plan and bring to reality a celebration for the local “Champions of the Common Good.” Students will plan all aspects of this event (with help from the teacher), including: how to fund the event, menu, decorations, entertainment, set-up, clean-up and location.

  7. Teacher note: An option is to have students type the invitations on a computer so they look more professional. Having students write invitations keeps them personally involved and tends to grab the attention of the person(s) receiving the invitation.

  8. Using a Decision Making Grid (Attachment One), have students decide the criteria for a scoring rubric to help them decide which individual or non-profit group would be the most deserving of a donation of time or money. This grid is to be used by the students during the “Breakfast for Champions.”

    • Conduct the ceremony and let students vote on the recipient of the donation (if one will be awarded).


Students will write an essay explaining what they learned about philanthropy and how it relates to the common good. They will explain how their study of the Nobel Peace Prize helped them gain an understanding of what perpetuity is and tell how the class can contribute to the common good in a perpetual way. The following criteria should be used to evaluate the content of the essay. State a clear main idea for the content of the essay. List one of the Nobel Peace Prize winners and tell why he/she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, what the contribution did for the common good and how it is perpetuated. Explain the importance of philanthropy in our communities. Identify two local philanthropists, tell what the focus of their contribution is and indicate how you, as an individual, could help their cause. The essay applied correct language and usage. The teacher will evaluate using a Report Rubric (Attachment Two).

Cross Curriculum 

Students will sponsor a celebration designed to honor local individuals and non-profit groups engaging in philanthropic activities. At this event, the individuals and non-profit groups will be given the opportunity to speak about their cause and tell why it is important philanthropically, with each one receiving a certificate of appreciation. Based on these speeches and student research, the students will make a decision as to which individual or non-profit group will receive a donation, if the decision is made by the class to donate time or other resources.

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 04. Operational Characteristics of Nonprofit Organizations
      1. Benchmark MS.3 Describe how a specific civil society organization in the community operates.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 07. Skills of Civic Engagement
      1. Benchmark MS.3 Participate in acts of democratic citizenship in the classroom or school, such as voting, group problem solving, classroom governance or elections.
  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.