I'm a Philanthropist! Philanthropy Lesson (K)

K, 1, 2

This lesson introduces the definition of philanthropy. The children are given the opportunity to see that philanthropy is something in which they are capable of participating. The memory building game stimulates the children to choose many different ways of being philanthropic. The students are encouraged to make a conscious effort to improve their community.

Lesson Rating 
PrintOne Thirty-Minute Class Period

The learner will:

  • name a philanthropic act that they could actually perform.
  • distinguish between the concepts of time, talent and treasure.
  • illustrate a philanthropic act.
  • Paper
  • Pencils
  • Crayons
  • Markers


  1. Anticipatory Set:Tell the students that they will be learning a new, very big word. Introduce the word philanthropy by writing it on the board. Ask students if they have ever heard of the word? Have them repeat it several times. Ask students to guess what it means?Ask students if they have heard of giving? Explain that philanthropy means giving of your time, talents or treasure for the common good.

  2. Ask the students:

    • What does it mean to give your time? What is your time? Recess, after school.
    • What does it mean to give your talent? What is your talent? Can you play a musical instrument, sing, dance, paint, be a good friend? Are you kind or patient?
    • What does it mean to give your treasures? What are your treasures? Your treasures are your money or belongings.
    • What does common good mean? For the good of everyone.
  3. Lead students in a discussion about what they have to offer and to whom they could offer it. For example, it would not be appropriate for a child to say “I could give $100 to the Animal Shelter,” but it would be very appropriate for them to say, “I could volunteer my time at the Animal Shelter. I could walk dogs, clean cages or just play with lonely animals.” Explain that people give some of what they have (time, talent or treasure) because they have strong feelings for the cause they selected.

  4. Tell the students that each of them must now think of something philanthropic that they could personally do in their class, school, family, or neighborhood. Explain that we will go around the room and each person will say “I’m going to be a philanthropist because I’m going to …” The next person will say “I’m going to be a philanthropist because I’m going to …” (what the previous person named and add their own. They only have to name the act that the previous student named and then add one of their own).

    The teacher can model writing by recording the students’ ideas on a chart. Each student in turn names the previous students’ philanthropic acts and adds his/her own. This continues around the classroom as each person adds another act to the list and must recite the ideas of their classmates.

    When the memory game is over, the chart should be shown so that the students can read and review all the philanthropic ideas. (During the game students should be given the option to “pass” if they are not ready to share.)

  5. Make a class book. The students illustrate one of the ideas given during the game recorded on the chart. The teacher will ask the students to distinguish between time, talent, and treasure. The teacher can bind the pages into a book for the whole class to enjoy, and upon which they can reflect.


Assessment will be done by teacher observation of student participation. If a student comes up with an inappropriate philanthropic act, the teacher will ask the student if s/he has named something s/he is capable of doing. Does it fit the definition of philanthropy as giving of your time, talent or treasures?

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.1 Define philanthropy as the giving and sharing of time, talent, or treasure intended for the common good.
  2. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.1 Describe one reason why a person might give or volunteer.