Philanthropy in Song

K, 1, 2

This lesson will give the students a working definition of philanthropy through the use of song. The students will sing the definition of philanthropy to a familiar tune.

Lesson Rating 
PrintOne Forty-Five Minute Class Period

The learner will:

  • develop phonemic awareness through the use of rhyming text.
  • differentiate between the vocabulary words time, talent and treasure.
  • learn the song "What Is a Philanthropist?"
  • identify possible philanthropic acts.
  • Take Me Out of the Bathtub by Alan Katz (see Bibliographical References)
  • Lyrics for the song "What Is a Philanthropist?" on chart paper or overhead
  • Chart paper and markers
  • Students journals
  • Song Sheet and Letter to Families (Handout One)
Home Connection 

Interactive Parent / Student Homework:Send home an introductory note to families explaining what a philanthropist is and how the song can be used at home for review. (See Handout One: Song Sheet and Letter to Families.)


Katz, Alan. Take Me Out Of the Bathtub and Other Silly Dilly Songs. Scholastic Inc., 2001. ISBN: 0-439-43412-2


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Tell the students, "Yesterday we talked about a really big word. Does anyone remember what that really big word was?"

    Give the students time to come up with the word. Write the word in large letters on the chart paper. Remind the students of the story, "The Lion and the Mouse."

  2. Ask the students to recall ways that the lion helped the mouse and ways that the mouse helped the lion.

  3. Review the chart from yesterday that had possible definitions of philanthropist. Tell the students, "If Lion and Mouse were philanthropists, and they helped each other, do you think that philanthropists could be people who help other people?" Take time to listen to student response to this question.

  4. Present definition of philanthropist. A philanthropist is someone who gives of his/her time, talent and treasure for another or for the common good. Break down the definition into three parts for the students to better understand the meaning. Have students give examples of all of these words. Add time, talent and treasure to chart along with student examples.

  5. Time: (before school, recess, lunch time, etc.)

    Talent: (reading, singing, playing soccer, etc.)

    Treasure: (money, candy, special book, special toy, etc.)

    Common Good: (Help students understand that this means all of us.)

  6. Ask the students, "What time, talent or treasure did the philanthropist(s) in the story give?"

  7. Introduce the story, Take Me Out of the Bathtub, by Alan Katz. This story is filled with silly songs sung to familiar tunes. Choose a few of the songs that you feel are appropriate for your class and talk about the rhyme patterns and familiar ending sounds. As you sing through a few, have the students clap, wiggle fingers or make wave motions each time they hear rhyming words. Track the print with your finger as you read and have the students help with decoding of words.

  8. Introduce the song, "What is a Philanthropist?" Tell the students, " This song is also a song that has a tune like a song you may have heard before. It sounds like the song, "Are You Sleeping?" but it has different words. Follow along with me and see if you recognize the tune." Students should follow along as the teacher tracks the print. Stop at the words time, talent and treasure to help the students become familiar with the words. Sing the song through several times to develop fluency.


Students should make an illustration of an example of philanthropy in their journals. Depending on ability, have students dictate a sentence, label their picture or write a sentence to tell about the act. Teacher will assess understanding through observation of illustrations and student explanation. Illustration must relate to philanthropy in the form of sharing, helping, etc. Mastery would require the students to tell about their picture and explain why it shows an act of philanthropy. Mastery may also be assessed through writing if the student is able to write a simple sentence explaining his/her picture.

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.2 Identify why people practice philanthropy related to their own self-interest.