Philanthropy Play

3, 4, 5

In this lesson, students role-play situations in which they are involved in philanthropic acts.  They analyze the act of philanthropy.

Lesson Rating 
PrintTwo or Three Fifty-Minute Class Periods

The learner will:

  • brainstorm some potential philanthropic acts.
  • compose a play that demonstrates one or more philanthropic acts.
  • analyze a kind act to determine whether it is an act of philanthropy.
  • reflect in writing about the student plays.
  • simple props or costumes for the plays
  • group copy of Handout Two: Coffee Shop Sharing


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Display a copy of Handout Two: Coffee Shop Sharingor write your own dialogue. Assign roles to four students and have them read the parts aloud. Discuss the role-play. Ask whether this was an example of philanthropy and discuss why or why not. Review the definition of philanthropy.

  2. Brainstorm with the students some examples of philanthropic acts that they might observe or take part in. Write the ideas on the board or overhead projector.

  3. Divide the class into groups of four or five students.

  4. Each group must write a short role-play (five minutes or less) demonstrating an act of philanthropy. The role-play should be written in play format and have a speaking part for each student in the group.

  5. Groups may use simple props and costumes for their plays.

  6. Students perform their plays for the class. The rest of the class listens carefully so they can discuss the plays afterward.

  7. After each play, discuss whether the philanthropic act shares time, talent, or treasure. Have students identify how the act benefits the common good.

  8. After all the plays are performed, students write one paragraph in their journals descibing the demonstrated philanthropic act that they admired the most.


See Handout One: Philanthropy Play Rubric for a grading rubric for group plays.

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.
      2. Benchmark E.4 Give an example of how citizens act for the common good.