Ethics and Philanthropy The Act of Sharing and Giving

6, 7, 8
Learners will define vocabulary associated with philanthropy and as identified in instructional procedures. Learners will apply developed vocabulary to identify ethics and philanthropic actions demonstrated in family experiences or friendships.
Lesson Rating 
PrintTwo Forty-Five or Fifty Minute Class Periods
The learner will:
  • define ethics and cite examples of ethical behavior.
  • identify ethical conduct and personalize how s/he had behaved ethically.
  • identify ways that s/he has practiced philanthropy in his/her family, with friends or religious groups.
  • write a personal essay describing past philanthropic experiences.
  • identify a family member or friend who has been a role model for philanthropy.
  • Chart paper
  • Paper, pencils
  • Colored markers
  • Reflection journals
  • Uncle Jed's Barbershop (see Bibliographical References)
Home Connection 
The children are writing about a philanthropic experience they have had with their parents. Interactive Parent / Student Homework:The learner may complete a chart like the sample provided as s/he discusses with his/her parent/guardian the philanthropic experiences of the family. The instructor may also have the learners write down responses on a piece of paper and bring that to share with the class. Explain to the class that any act of kindness should be considered and is appropriate to be included. What our family or friends do to give of their time, treasure or talent for the common good The people, agencies or associations who were the recipients 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
  • Mitchell, Margaree King. Uncle Jed's Barbershop. Aladdin Paperbacks, 1998. ISBN: 0689819137

  • Flournoy, Valerie. The Patchwork Quilt. E. P. Dutton, 1985. ISBN: 0803700970


  1. Anticipatory Set:Read the picture book Uncle Jed's Barbershop to the class. Divide the class into pairs of learners. Have learners reflect in the pair groupings about an occasion in which they have given their time, talent, or treasure to help someone, and if it involved any family members. Also have them reflect on an occasion when they were the recipient of an act of philanthropy. Give learners an example such as a friend when they were very young sharing a treasured toy with them, or a stranger giving directions.

  2. Ask learner to define "philanthropy." Have a learner record learner responses on chart paper. Leave the responses posted to revisit later. The definition that should be agreed on is: Philanthropy (n) 1. The giving of one's time, talent or treasure for the sake of another- or for the common good - Robert Payton, 2. Voluntary action for the public good -Robert Payton, 3. Voluntary giving, voluntary service, and voluntary association, primarily for the benefit of others - Robert Payton, 4. Giving and serving -Richard J. Bentley and Luana G. Nissan, 5. Active effort to promote human welfare, 6. A tradition, a spirit, and a sector of society - Maurice G. Gurin and Jon Van Til
  3. Have volunteers share responses with the rest of the class from the Anticipatory Set. Lead the class to the idea that philanthropy is the giving and sharing of time, talent, and treasure. Compare this definition with those generated by the class.
  4. Record on chart paper ways learners have practiced philanthropy with their families.
  5. On a separate piece of chart paper, have learners identify what ethics are, identify what ethical conduct is, and how ethics are important for the "common good."
  6. Have learners write two entries in their journals reflecting on how they have behaved ethically.
  7. Have learners volunteer to read from their reflection journals. Lead the class to the conclusion that acting in a philanthropic manner may be ethical behavior. Definitions which are necessary to this part of the Instructional Procedure: Ethic (n, pl. - ics) The system of moral values; the principle of right or good conduct Ethical (adj.) Relating to or of ethics; conforming to right principles of conduct as accepted by a specific profession - ethically (adv.) ethical decision-making (n) Using a set of morals/values when problem-solving
  8. Ask learners to identify a family member, friend or another adult who serves as a role model for philanthropy and ethical behavior. Share with learners your own experience to start discussion. Assign learners to write a personal narrative on a past experience where they gave and shared their time, talent, or treasure, and how this experience enabled them to act ethically. The narrative should begin in class and finish as an out of class assignment. Class time should be reserved for peer editing of a rough draft and final writing.
  9. Have learners illustrate their narratives and compile a class book of past philanthropic experiences.
The learners will be assessed on teacher observation during class discussion, in addition to being graded on their personal narratives. The following rubric may be adapted for the personal narratives. 4 Points Learner writes about a personal experience that describes the sharing and giving of time, talent, or treasure, and connects the idea that this philanthropic experience was ethical. 3 Points Learner writes about a personal experience that describes sharing and giving but does not identify or connect it as ethical. 2 Points Learner writes about what philanthropy is, or what ethics are, but does not include a personal experience. 1 Point Learner writes about an experience but does not include what they gave or shared with someone else.

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. Benchmark MS.4 Give examples of how individuals have helped others.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark MS.4 Describe the characteristics of someone who helps others.