Lesson Rating 
PrintThree or Four Thirty-Minute Class Periods

The learner will:

  • analyze what comprises a community.
  • identify philanthropic acts.
  • compare and contrast these acts in three different situations.
  • take a stand and defend his/her viewpoint on who can perform a needed service for the community.
  • Aesop’s, The Lion and the Mouse
  • “The Good San Franciscan” (the parable of “The Good Samaritan” as retold by Joyce Rogers) (Attachment One)
  • “Someone Should” (a short play based on “The Good Samaritan” written by Joyce Rogers) (Attachment Two)
  • Rubrics for the Essay (Attachment Three).

McGovern, Ann. Aesop's Fables. New York: Scholastic, 1988. ISBN: 0590438808


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Explain to the class that they will be studying three different pieces of literature which were written or told in different times and places. Explain that each piece of literature is called a “genre.” Ask the learners from what language they think the word “genre” comes. Ask learners why the teacher would prefer to use three different stories to teach them about something instead of just one. Once students have expressed their viewpoints, reiterate that even though there will be three stories, the stories will have something in common which can be compared and contrasted.

  2. Beginning with Aesop’s fable “The Lion and the Mouse,” have students read the story (individually or as a group). After the story is read, break the class into groups of three or four students to discuss the story and answer the following questions:

    • What is the need?
    • Who has the need?
    • Who is in the community?
    • Who fills the need?
    • What talent or treasure was given? What did it cost to give?
    • What goodness does the community experience from that giving or sharing?
    • What is the reward for the one or ones who shared?
    • What would have happened if the need had not been met?
    • Discuss the answers as a whole group. Make sure an emphasis is placed on what constitutes a “community” and how the need was met. Correct responses are:
      • Freedom from captivity was the need.
      • The lion had the need.
      • The whole jungle was the community.
      • The mouse filled the need.
      • The mouse used his talent of gnawing to help the lion. The mouse risked having the hunters come back before he was done.
      • The lion received freedom because of the mouse.
      • The mouse and the lion became unlikely friends.
      • The lion would be taken captive for the rest of his life.
    • Follow the same steps for The Good San Franciscan (Attachment One) and Someone Should (Attachment Two).
    • The Good San FranciscanCorrect responses are:
      • The need was medical aid.
      • Roger Walters had the need.
      • The whole population of San Francisco, especially those driving along the freeway, were in the community.
      • Julios Sanchez fills the need.
      • Julios shared time, effort, and twenty dollars. It cost Julios time, which made him get home later after a long day, and money of which he had little.
      • The whole community experienced a healing because of what Julios did.
      • Julios was rewarded by knowing he did the right thing.
      • If Julios hadn’t stopped to help, Mr. Walters might not have recovered from the robbery and beating.
    • Someone ShouldCorrect responses are:
      • The hall was a big mess and needed cleaning up.
      • The whole school had the need to have a clean building.
      • The community included the teachers, administrators, and students.
      • The kindergartner filled the need.
      • The talent of picking up the mess was shared by the kindergartner. It cost time and effort.
      • The community had a nice clean and tidy hallway.
      • The kindergartner just felt good that he/she did the right thing.
      • The hall would have gotten messier.
    • Once learners have completed the exercise for each piece of literature, ask them if there were any comparisons or contrasts which could be made. The learners should come to realize that in each piece of literature, one character made a difference by practicing philanthropy. Have the learners describe the character who gave of their time, talent or treasure in each of the readings. The one character who shared was small, meek, and not so powerful in each of the readings.
    • Divide the class into small groups. Give each a large sheet of paper and ask them to construct a banner for one of the stories. The banner should highlight the act of philanthropy and point out the lesson learned in that story. Display the banners.

Give each learner a sheet of paper on which the following statement is written: “Only rich and powerful persons can make a difference in the community.” The learners are to write an essay stating whether or not they agree with the statement, giving their arguments to defend their point of view, and giving one example of how a community need can be met. See Rubrics for the Essay (Attachment Three).

Cross Curriculum 

The learners will share their knowledge (time and talent) with younger learners by performing the play, “Someone Should.”

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. Benchmark E.4 Define and give examples of selfishness and selflessness.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 07. Skills of Civic Engagement
      1. Benchmark E.1 Explore and research issues and present solutions using communication tools.