Love of Mankind

3, 4, 5

Students will identify philanthropy in their daily lives. While written for a Catholic Elementary School, the lesson may be easily adapted for public school use.

Lesson Rating 
PrintOne class period

Students will identify philanthropic examples in everyday life.

  • Miss Rumphius, by Barbara Cooney 
  • Definition of Philanthropy
  • Philanthropy Cards
  • Role Playing Rubric 
  • Cooney, Barbara. Miss Rumphius. New York: Puffin Books, 1985.
  • Gather: Comprehension. Chicago: GIA Publications, Inc., 1994.


  1. Anticipatory Set

    Tell students that they will be listening to a story about a woman who wishes to give something good back to the world around her. Ask them if they have ever done anything good for someone or has anyone ever done anything nice for them. Ask them to listen for the good deed that she gave to her community.

  2. Read Miss Rumphius out loud to the class.

  3. Discuss the term philanthropy and the definition with the students.(Greek roots PHIL "to love" ANTHROPOS "mankind" or private action for the common good or the giving of one's time, talent, or treasure for the sake of another or for the common good).

  4. Ask students how philanthropy relates to the story Miss Rumphius. (Miss Rumphius gave beauty back to the community around her. She made things more beautiful. Her actions were for the good of the community; she was able to give her time and talents).

  5. Ask students to verbalize examples of philanthropy.

  6. Pass out cards with examples of philanthropic deeds on each card (see handout Philanthropy Role Plays). Give students time to role-play each situation.

  7. Have students give their own examples of philanthropy and role-play these, as well.

  8. Ask students to try and accomplish one philanthropic deed on this day. Anything that they want to do for anyone else. Encourage continued use of philanthropy.


Teacher observations of students' responses in Student role playing. 

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.1 Define philanthropy as the giving and sharing of time, talent, or treasure intended for the common good.
  2. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.4 Give an example of how citizens act for the common good.