Rosa Parks

3, 4, 5

Rosa Parks' acts of philanthropy brought a community of people together for the common good and resulted in major social change in her community and in the nation. Participants identify a need in the community and take action with personal responsiblity.

PrintOne 50-Minute Session

Explain why acting philanthropically is good for the individual and community.​


Reading materials about Rosa Parks


Biography: Rosa Parks

Parks, Rosa and Gregory J. Reed. Dear Mrs. Parks: A Dialogue with Today's Youth. Lee and Low Books, 1997. ISBN: 1880000458

Parks, Rosa, James Haskins, and Jim Haskins. Rosa Parks: My Story. Puffin, 1999. ISBN: 0141301201

Time (a good site for a summary of Rosa Parks' life as well as links to other resource sites)


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Introduce the story of Rosa Parks by saying she was a hero and philanthropist who took personal responsibility that impacted the good of all. Review the definitions of hero and phlanthropist from the previous lessons.

    Read aloud an account about Rosa Parks using one of the many sources available at the library. Read some of the letters from the book, Dear Mrs. Parks. Hold a discussion about Rosa Parks' actions. Discuss how she was acting in her best interest, but also doing something good for the community.

  2. Discuss how philanthropic activities can bring about social change. Philanthropy includes taking personal action for the common good. Speaking up about injustice may call attention to a problem and start the process of changing laws or the way people act. Define social change. We still need social change today to make life better for everyone. 

  3. Define community as the degree that people come together for the common good. What are some "communities" we belong to that bring people together to make something better?

  4. Use the Blue Sky Activity or Map Your Heartbreak activity - Links Here - to explore what issues participants care about. Form a community to take action together to make something better. Use your time to act for the good of all and make a difference. 

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.3 Recognize that citizens have a responsibility for the common good as defined by democratic principles.
    2. Standard DP 02. Roles of Government, Business, and Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.6 Explain why acting philanthropically is good for the community, state, nation, or world.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 02. Diverse Cultures
      1. Benchmark E.5 Identify the relationship between individual rights and community responsibility.
    2. Standard PCS 05. Philanthropy and Government
      1. Benchmark E.1 Define community as the degree that people come together for the common good.
      2. Benchmark E.9 Describe how philanthropic activities can bring about social change.
  3. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.2 Identify why people practice philanthropy related to their own self-interest.
  4. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 03. Providing Service
      1. Benchmark E.1 Provide a needed service.