Talk the Talk, Walk the Walk (12th Grade)

9, 10, 11, 12

Learners explore what it means to demonstrate civic virtues of justice, kindness, peace, and tolerance as responsible citizens. The students write a goal to practice one of the virtues.

PrintOne 55 minute class period

The learner will:

  • explore ways to exemplify civic virtue through justice, tolerance, kindness and peace.
  • set a personal goal to develop at least one virtue and a plan to practice/develop it.
  • Four colors of self-stick notes, enough for each student to have two of each color, a total of eight self-stick notes per student.
  • Four life-size cardboard or paper outlines of a person – make ahead of time. Give each outline a different name using justice, kindness, peace and tolerance as the last name such as Jason Justice, Karen Kindness, Paige Peace or Terry Tolerance. (Try not to use the first name of any student in the class.)


  1. Anticipatory Set: Introduce the cardboard/paper “citizen” to the class.Tell the class that they are going to bring each “citizen” to life by breathing into it the qualities or virtues that a citizen needs. Remind students of the civic virtues of justice, kindness, peace and tolerance. Explain that they will be exploring how these civic virtues can be demonstrated through actions.

  2. Give each student 8 colored self-stick notes. (Each student has two of the same color) Use four colors so each civic virtue is a different color. For example, justice is pink; kindness is blue; peace is yellow; and tolerance is green.

  3. Have students individually brainstorm what they could DO to be just; DO to be kind; DO to be peaceful; or DO to be tolerant. For example, peace may be obeying the law, or compromising on an issue. Tolerance may be listening to other points of view, or being respectful of alternative life styles. (It is possible that actions can be applied to more than one civic virtue.) Have the students put their initials on each of their notes so clarifying questions can be asked later of the author.

  4. Divide the class into four groups and assign each group to one of the virtuous “citizens.” Have the groups read the self-stick notes on their “citizen,” discuss the suggestions, expand on and then summarize the ideas for virtuous action.

  5. Ask each group write a summary statement on the “citizen.”

  6. Have the groups walk about the classroom and “visit with each citizen” to discover how they act in demonstrating their virtue.

  7. Remind the students of the definition of philanthropy they have learned – to give time, talent, and treasure and take action for the common good.

  8. Ask the students to choose one or more of the virtues that they would like to develop/practice. They should write a goal for what they could like to achieve and a plan for the actions they will take to achieve it. They should include how this might be a philanthropic act, benefiting not only themselves but also the common good.

Cross Curriculum 

Students choose a civic virtue to practice. They write a goal for what they would like to achieve and a plan for the actions they will take to achieve it.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. 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.