Wall of Philanthropists

6, 7, 8

After reading about historical figures who have taken philanthropic action related to justice, youth write a narrative about a more recent (young) philanthropist who took action for social justice. 



PrintOne 45 Minute Session

The learner will:

  • read and write about a person who impacted social justice with their actions or voice. 
  • seek information about philanthropists representing diverse backgrounds and perspectives and ages.
  • copies of handout: Historical Figures in Philanthropy


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Using audio, video or text, share Martin Luther King’s, “I Have a Dream” speech and discuss how the speech inspires them, especially around personal responsibility for the common good. 

  2. Define philanthropy as using their voice, time, and talent to make a difference for the good of all. Many people in history and today are taking action for things they are passionate about in big and small ways.
    First, they will learn about people from history who took action for the common good and made a difference for justice and equity. Distribute to pairs or small groups the mini-biographies in the Historical Philanthropists handout below. They read about their person and then summarize and discuss their contributions with the whole group. They quickly learn about several people using this jigsaw method.

  3. Then they research and create a paper, poster, or video to tell about a current philanthropist. It may be someone famous, like Malala or Greta Thunberg. It may be someone they know.

    Choosing a person to feature may arise out of a personal interest (the environment) or by searching for social justice actions by people who are Muslim (or gay, Asian, young, or any other representation). 

    Their completed projects will together create a "wall of philanthropy" representing a variety of cultures, youth, and social justice.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Define philanthropy as individuals and organizations providing their time, talent, and/or treasures intended for the common good throughout history and around the world. Give examples.
      2. Benchmark MS.4 Give examples of how individuals have helped others.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark MS.4 Describe the characteristics of someone who helps others.
    2. Standard PCS 05. Philanthropy and Government
      1. Benchmark MS.10 Give historic and contemporary examples of a voluntary action by an individual or a private organization that has helped to enhance a fundamental democratic principle.
  3. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.10 Identify reasons why historic figures acted for the common good.