Students will be introduced to the term philanthropy and the concept of philanthropic acts as related to characters in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.
Teacher's note: This lesson is intended for students who have read the book To Kill a Mockingbird.
One to Two Fifty-Minute Class Periods
The learner will:
- define philanthropy.
- identify philanthropy in character development in To Kill a Mockingbird.
- describe philanthropic acts in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird.
- Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, and Kimberly Kerberger
- Post-It Notes
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
- Chart paper, butcher paper, or a white board
- Information on the Character Cards (Attachment One)
- Paragraph Student/Peer Editing Task List (Attachment Two)
- Paragraph Scoring Guide (Attachment Three)
- Video: "Philanthropy Is…" Available for loan from Learning to Give, 630 Harvey Street, Muskegon, MI 49442-2398 (with the kind permission of the Minnesota Council on Foundations).
- Handout 1
- Information on the Character Cards
- Handout 2
- Paragraph Student/Peer Editing Task List
- Handout 3
- Paragraph Scoring Guide
Tell students that you will read the passage "Turning Up Your Light" by Eric Allenbaugh in the book Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul on page 256. To promote purposeful listening, tell them their task is to answer the question: "Name some characteristics or qualities that this young man displays that separates him from others his age." You may need to explain the difference between qualities/characteristics vs. things the young man did in the story. Have the students respond to this question on a Post-It Note and instruct them to keep it for later in the class period.
- Write the word "philanthropy" on chart paper and post this in the room. Have the students brainstorm a list of words they believe relate to this word. Accept any answer. Record their proposed synonyms on chart paper or a list on the board.
- Present students with the definition of philanthropy: private individual action intended for the common good. Write the definition on chart paper. Give examples and ask for student feedback to ensure that the students understand the term. Have students work in partners and split the list of synonyms on the board into two lists: Examples and Non-Examples of Philanthropy. Have volunteers from a few groups record the lists on the board.
- Show the video "Philanthropy Is…" (available for loan from Learning to Give, 630 Harvey Street, Muskegon, MI 49442-2398). Discuss the video with the students if applicable, or continue to discuss the term philanthropy at length.
- Relate the term philanthropy back to the anticipatory set. Ask the students to reveal their Post-It Notes. As students approach the board, have them read the information on their note and determine if the choices the young man made relate to philanthropy. If the idea does relate to philanthropy, have the student place the note on the paper with the definition of philanthropy. If the ideas on the Post-It Notes do not relate to philanthropy, the student may place the note under the list of Non-Examples on the board. Discuss.
- Pass out the character cards, one per student. For more specific instructions on the character cards, see Information on the Character Cards (Attachment One). Instruct the students to write a well-developed, cohesive paragraph describing how their character from To Kill A Mockingbird exemplifies philanthropy. See Paragraph Scoring Guide (Attachment Three). Instruct the students to use specific examples from the book to support their ideas. Share the Paragraph Student/Peer Editing Task List (Attachment Two).
- When paragraphs are complete, instruct students to work with table partners to peer edit their paragraph using the Paragraph Student/Peer Editing Task List (Attachment Two).
- Have students submit the paragraphs for review by the teacher upon completion, most likely the following day.
- Teacher use of the Paragraph Scoring Guide (Attachment Three) to evaluate student paragraphs.
- Student use of the Paragraph Student/Peer Editing Task List (Attachment Two) for evaluation.
Student completion of paragraph final copies.
Have students do a Web search with the word philanthropy as the key word.
- Canfield, Jack, Mark Victor Hansen and Kimberly Kirkberger. Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul. Deerfield Beach, Florida: Heath Communications Inc., 1997. ISBN: 1-55874-463-0
- Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. New York: Warner Books, 1960. ISBN: 0-446-31078-6
- Video: Philanthropy Is… Available for loan from Learning to Give, 630 Harvey Street, Muskegon, MI 49442-2398 (with the kind permission of the Minnesota Council on Foundations).
Lesson Developed By:
Grand Ledge School District
Grand Ledge High School
Grand Ledge, MI 48837
Information on the Character Cards
Directions: At your discretion, make cards corresponding to characters in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird. Use colorful index cards and decorate the cards if you choose. I suggest using the characters:
- Atticus Finch
- Jem Finch
- Scout Finch
- Arthur (Boo) Radley
- Miss Maudie Atkinson
- Tom Robinson
- Aunt Alexandra
Make enough cards for each student to have one. The characters will obviously be used more than one time.
Paragraph Student/Peer Editing Task List
|1. Paragraph contains a topic sentence
|2. Paragraph contains 3 detail sentences and supporting examples.
|3. Paragraph contains correct spelling and grammar.
|4. Paragraph contains a clincher sentence that summarizes the content of the paragraph.
|5. Student participated in peer editing
|6. Paragraph contains at least one example of a philanthropic act
Paragraph Scoring Guide
4 = Cohesive Paragraph
Paragraph contains all elements including a topic sentence, a minimum of three detail sentences and a solid clincher sentence. The paragraph shows evidence of understanding of content and contains examples of each point written.
3 = Solid Paragraph
Paragraph contains all elements including a topic sentence, a minimum of three detail sentences and a clincher sentence. The paragraph shows some evidence of understanding and contains some examples.
2 = Developing Paragraph
Paragraph contains some of the elements of a paragraph including a topic sentence and a few details. The paragraph shows little evidence of understanding and may contain an example.
1 = Needs Help
Paragraph contains elements that are unclear to the reader. It contains few examples and shows little understanding of content.
0 = No Paragraph
Paragraph was not complete or not turned in.
4 = A
3 = B
2 = C
1 = D
0 = F