PrintTwo Forty-Five Minute Class Periods

The learner will:

  • express why Jane Addams is a model of philanthropy, showing good character and civic virtue.
  • evaluate efforts to solve current community's problems and formulate ways that voluntarism can serve the common good.
  • Jane Addams Chronology handout
  • Hull House Firsts handout
  • Addams, Jane. Twenty Years at Hull-House. New York: MacMillan, 1910.
  • Bahmueller, Charles F., ed., Civitas: A Framework for Civic Education. (Calabasas, CA: National Council for the Social Studies Bulletin, 1991), 86.
  • Ellis, Susan J., and Katherine H. Noyes. By the People: A History of Americans as Volunteers. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1990.
  • Felder, Deborah G. The 100 Most Influential Women of All Time: A Ranking Past and Present. New York: Citadel, 1996.
  • Kerber, Linda K., and Jane Sherron De Hart. Women's America: Refocusing the Past, 3rd ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 1991.
  • Marlow, Joan. The Great Women. New York: Galahad Books, 1979.
  • Munro, Petra. "Educators as Activists: Five Women from Chicago," Social Education, 59 (5), 274-278.
  • "Philanthropy in American History: The Elite Experience, 1980-1940." http://www.philanthropy.org/publications/curriculum_guides/09.html#toc
  • Weinberg, Arthur, and Lila Weinberg. Some Dissenting Voices: The Story of Six American Dissenters. New York: The World Publishing Company, 1970.


  1. Anticipatory Set: Jane Addams is listed as a "reformer of the Progressive Era" and spent her life trying to make changes in all areas of life. Review some of the reforms of the Progressive Era.

  2. Look at the Jane Addams Chronology (handout) and/or the Hull House Firsts (handout). Note the various activities Miss Addams engaged in besides the work at Hull House, such as organizing the Women's Peace Party or serving as the First Vice President of the National American Woman Suffrage Association. Discuss whether or not Jane Addams and Hull House could have been as effective without "spreading their wings" into many areas.

    Note that some of the "firsts" shown on the Hull House list occurred many years after the death of Jane Addams. What does this tell us about the endurance of Hull House even today? Ask students to judge in what way Jane Addams is a model of philanthropy.

  3. Discuss in what ways Hull House represented changes in the way Americans viewed social problems and the means to address them. Use the following information to provide background information on its current work:

    • The Hull House Association serves 225,000 children, families and individuals each year.
    • It operates nearly 100 programs of self-reliance, including foster care, childcare, job training, advocacy, counseling, home-delivered meals, and literacy programs.
    • It has six community centers and 35 other locations in Chicago.
  4. Divide the class into small groups and direct them to make a list of three significant areas needing improvement in the community. Have students look at what efforts are currently in place to address those needs and assess their effects on the problem.

    Once this is done, ask students to recommend how volunteerism could add a new dimension to solving those problems.


Ask students to write about how Jane Addams contributed to the common good as a model of philanthropy, showing good character as well as civic virtue. 

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark HS.3 Give examples of human interdependence and explain why group formation is one strategy for survival.
      2. Benchmark HS.5 Describe civil society advocacy organizations and their relationship to human rights.
    2. Standard PCS 02. Diverse Cultures
      1. Benchmark HS.7 Identify and give examples of the important roles women and minorities have played in the civil society sector in history.
    3. Standard PCS 03. Philanthropy and Economics
      1. Benchmark HS.9 Analyze a major social issue as a "commons problem" and suggest ways the civil society sector could help to resolve it.
    4. Standard PCS 05. Philanthropy and Government
      1. Benchmark HS.5 Identify and discuss civil society sector organizations working to build community/social capital and civil society resources.
    5. Standard PCS 06. Philanthropy in History
      1. Benchmark HS.5 Identify positive philanthropic historic acts or events that helped build the community, state, and nation.