Roots of Philanthropy (Teen)

Unit of 12 Lessons
Grade Levels: 
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
Subjects: 
Language Arts
Philanthropy
Mathematics
Social Studies
Issue Area: 
Civil society
Focus Question 

What is philanthropy? What are ways we give our time, talent, and treasure for the common good?

Unit Overview 

Youth Activities: These twelve interactive and reflective activities are designed to be used in small or large groups of 12-18 year olds to become familiar with the definition and fundamental concepts of philanthropy. May be used in classrooms or youth groups, such as Youth Advisory Committees. Youth define philanthropy, explore their own giving passions, and have fun brainstorming creative ways to contribute. Attached are variations appropriate for spiritual or faith-based groups. Jewish, Christian, and Muslim perspectives included.

Lessons in This Unit 
Unit: 
Roots of Philanthropy (Teen)
Lesson 1 of 12
Grades: 
6
7
8
9
10
11
12

Youth Activity: Participants identify and begin to integrate the meaning of the word philanthropy and associated philanthropic acts. This activity assumes that the young people have had prior discussions about philanthropy. See the handout for supplemental faith-based discussion questions.

“If every American donated five hours a week, it would equal the labor of 20 million full-time volunteers” ~ Whoopi Goldberg

Unit: 
Roots of Philanthropy (Teen)
Lesson 2 of 12
Grades: 
6
7
8
9
10
11
12

Youth Activity: Participants will gain a greater understanding of the meaning of philanthropy, and identify at least one action that they can take to better their own community. They will investigate the strength of the human spirit and its importance in making the world better. See the handout for supplemental faith-based discussion questions. Religious perspective attached.

“I keep my ideals, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.” ~ Anne Frank (1930-1944)

Unit: 
Roots of Philanthropy (Teen)
Lesson 3 of 12
Grades: 
6
7
8
9
10
11
12

Youth Activity: Participants will discover how their time can equal treasure for organizations in the community. See the handout for supplemental faith-based discussion questions.

"My call tonight is for every American to commit at least two years, or 4,000 hours, over the rest of your lifetime to the service of your neighbors and your nation." ~President George W. Bush

Unit: 
Roots of Philanthropy (Teen)
Lesson 4 of 12
Grades: 
6
7
8
9
10
11
12

Youth Activity: Participants will re-examine the definition of philanthropy and recognize philanthropic traits. They will begin to understand philanthropy and see themselves as philanthropists. Participants will begin to see themselves in a “new light” and reflect on how they may want to give of their time, talent, and treasure. They will become aware of others in the community who are philanthropists.

“All people who exert themselves for the well-being of others; who engage in practical and heartfelt benevolence; who donate money and time to causes they believe in so that the world may become a better place. ” ~ Oxford English Dictionary definition of a philanthropist
 
Unit: 
Roots of Philanthropy (Teen)
Lesson 5 of 12
Grades: 
6
7
8
9
10
11
12

Youth Activity: This interactive activity helps young people understand philanthropy and the language used when describing philanthropic actions. The facilitator sets the tone for a “fun” experience with words.

Unit: 
Roots of Philanthropy (Teen)
Lesson 6 of 12
Grades: 
6
7
8
9
10
11
12

Youth Activity: This ten-minute activity is a good workshop energizer to take a break, refresh student energy, and have fun learning the word philanthropy.

Subjects 
Unit: 
Roots of Philanthropy (Teen)
Lesson 7 of 12
Grades: 
6
7
8
9
10
11
12

Youth Activity: The students watch a video of people telling what they think "philanthropy" means. Then they conduct their own interviews to gather information about the understanding of the concept of philanthropy. 

“If I asked you what the word, “philanthropy” means to you, what would you say? “Philanthropy — isn’t that the study of big fishes?” or “Beats me!”

Unit: 
Roots of Philanthropy (Teen)
Lesson 9 of 12
Grades: 
6
7
8
9
10
11
12

Youth Activity: This energizer is a fast and fun way to learn about philanthropy.

"My friends are much more likely to get involved if word gets out that what we are doing is fun. We need to get that message out. We need to be the messengers." 

- Youth participant at a Habits of the Heart conference

Unit: 
Roots of Philanthropy (Teen)
Lesson 10 of 12
Grades: 
6
7
8
9
10
11
12

Youth Activity: Youth explore the meaning of "common good," which is part of the definition of philanthropy.

"A community is only as good as its most unhealthy part." - anonymous

Unit: 
Roots of Philanthropy (Teen)
Lesson 11 of 12
Grades: 
6
7
8
9
10
11
12

Youth Activity; Students read about the philanthropy of Madam C.J. Walker, David Robinson, and Jason Crowe, and they begin to tell their own story.

"I do what I do for a simple reason, really; I like to help people." - middle school student

Unit: 
Roots of Philanthropy (Teen)
Lesson 12 of 12
Grades: 
6
7
8
9
10
11
12

Youth Activity: Students brainstorm time, talent, and treasure examples that they have to offer/give. The activity will ask each person to think of some ways he/she can generate money. 

“You should never think that just because you’re a kid you can’t do something.”

~ Max Penning, 12 years old, 1999 Prudential Spirit of Community Award Honoree, sold 2000 pizzas