Research & Development

9, 10, 11, 12

Learners research the public and philanthropic life of the person, and prepare a three to five minute oral presentation based on their research. They will highlight the most significant facts of the individual’s life, the philanthropy the individual participated in, and major effects their lives had on American history.

PrintThree fifty minute class periods

The learner will:

  • access information on a philanthropist, using a variety of print and electronic sources.
  • organize research into a presentation.
  • discuss the life of key philanthropist in American history.
  • Access to computer lab and media center
  • Student copies of A Partial List of Philanthropists from History (Handout One)
  • Student copies of Note Taker’s Guide (Handout Two)
  • Student copies of Rubric for the Presentation (Handout Three)


  1. Anticipatory Set:Tell the learners to imagine that they are writing to one of the richest (or most famous) persons in the world. Ask them to close their eyes and “see” their letter being dumped out of a sack of one hundred letters, all waiting to be opened and read. Ask students to discuss what their letter would require in order to be taken seriously and answered.

  2. Have the students form into small groups and distribute A Partial List of Philanthropists from History (Handout One). Pick one individual from the list. Have the students brainstorm by writing down questions they would ask them or things they would like to learn.

  3. Distribute Note Taker’s Guide (Handout Two) and Presentation Rubric (Handout Three). Discuss each. Students will complete the research using the Note Taker’s Guide.


The teacher will visually check students’ Note Taker's Guide (Handout Two), to be turned in at the project’s end. The teacher will also discuss rubric guidelines as students are creating their presentations.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark HS.2 Identify and discuss examples of philanthropy and charity in modern culture.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark HS.4 Describe and give examples of characteristics of someone who helps others.
    2. Standard PCS 05. Philanthropy and Government
      1. Benchmark HS.2 Discuss civic virtue and its role in democracy.
  3. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark HS.10 Identify reasons why historic figures acted for the common good.
      2. Benchmark HS.4 Cite historical examples of citizen actions that affected the common good.