Hey Lady! Where Are You?

6, 7, 8

The learners will use the Learning to Give "Timelines of American History and Philanthropy" to discover women's contributions to history and philanthropy.

Lesson Rating 
PrintTwo Fifty-Five Minute Class Periods

The learners will: identify and categorize contributions of women in philanthropy and American History.

  • The song “Wind Beneath My Wings” from the Bette Midler soundtrack, Beaches
  • The timeline of American history and philanthropy from /resources/philanthropy-timeline 
  • Student copies of Women’s Timeline of American History and Philanthropy (Attachment One)
  • Printed copies for each student team of the American History and Philanthropy Timeline from the “Learning to Give” Web site or student access to the Web
  • American history textbook or research materials such as encyclopedia

·        Delerue, George and Bette Midler.  “Wind Beneath My Wings” from Beaches (Soundtrack).  Atlantic Audio Cassette, October 17, 1990.  ASIN: B000002INQ

·        Learning to Give Web site.  http://www.learningtogive.org/resources/philanthropy-timeline



  1. Anticipatory Set: Review the definition of philanthropy (giving of one’s time, talent or goods for the benefit of others or the common good). Write on the overhead or board, “Who are your personal heroes from American History? Name two people and write at least seven lines about one of them. What did the person do to contribute to the good of others? Did the person take a stand on issues that others did not accept? While students are doing this play “Wind Beneath My Wings” from the “Beaches” soundtrack sung by Bette Midler.

  2. Discuss the student writing from the Anticipatory Set and the family’s or other adult’s choices from Lesson One of women who helped others in history from yesterday’s lesson.

  3. Ask students, “If we looked at a timeline from American history and philanthropy, do you think that we would find more entries about women or men? Why?”

  4. Tell students that they are going to use the “Timeline of American History and Philanthropy” from the “Learning to Give” Web site (either by going on-line at /resources/philanthropy-timeline or by referring to the printed copies available in the classroom). Ask the learners what they notice about women’s contributions in both areas. Are there more women’s entries in the beginning of the timeline or toward the end? What kinds of work did they do that was listed? Ask them to make any other observations about the timeline that they found interesting.

  5. Divide students into small groups and assign a decade or several decades of time to each group for additional research purposes. Make sure that all of the periods of time are assigned to the groups. Using both of the existing double columns in the timeline, the learners should identify women in American history and women in philanthropy. Distribute Women’s Timeline of American History and Philanthropy (Attachment One) to each student. Using the Internet, their American history texts, the encyclopedia or other research materials, the learners should add to the timelines by recording on the worksheet. At times they will be able to make an “American History Entry” and at other times they will be able to make an “American Philanthropy Entry.” They will not normally make both entries for the same year. The learners should add at least two illustrations to their timelines. These timelines will be graded on historical accuracy, neatness and attractiveness.

  6. After learners have had sufficient time to collect additions to the list, have students come back together in a whole group. In chronological order, discuss the additional entries the learners found for the timelines. What types of philanthropy did women contribute to the common good (time, talent, money)? Were there time periods where students were unable to find entries? Why? Discuss whether or not there really is a “herstory” to the topic of philanthropy in America. Is it important to know that women have had significant roles in history and in philanthropy?


The students will create additional timelines which will form an addendum to a women’s timeline of American History and Philanthropy. The timeline will include a specific period of time and will include at least two illustrations.

Cross Curriculum 

The students will research women’s part in American history and philanthropy. They will then share that information with other learners in their building and submit their new timeline entries to the www.learningtogive.org Web site.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 02. Diverse Cultures
      1. Benchmark MS.2 Describe the importance of hearing all voices in a community and respecting their right to be heard.
    2. Standard PCS 06. Philanthropy in History
      1. Benchmark MS.2 Give an example of individual philanthropic action that influenced the nation's history.
  2. 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.