The Great Philanthropists

Contributor: Brian Anthony. Lesson ID: 12302

The Greek word philanthropist means lover of humans. One way to show love is to share what you have with the needy. Read how early billionaires used their money for charity!


People and Their Environment, United States

learning style
personality style
Otter, Golden Retriever
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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  • If you had 100 million dollars, how much of it, if any, would you use to help other people?
  • Is it fair to have that much money?

If you turn on the television or open a magazine, you will likely come across an ad asking for a donation.

It might be a charity that helps the homeless, or that gives health services, or promotes better reading habits. There are many opportunities to give money to important causes. It helps other people and it makes you feel good!

People with more money — the super-rich — have the opportunity to do even greater good.

As you read more about this kind of charity in What Is Philanthropy? Examples, History, Benefits, and Types, write down the answers to the following questions.

  • What is the definition of philanthropy?
  • What did John Winthrop say about rich people?
  • Who are some famous philanthropists?

Work through the reading to collect your information. Then, reflect on these questions.

  • What do you think is the difference between charity and philanthropy?
  • Do you agree with the opinion of John Winthrop? Why or why not?
  • What are some issues or causes that really depend on donations?

Some of the richest people in American history have also been some of the most generous.

In the Got It? section, explore the lives of some of the great philanthropists, and find out how they used their money to make the world a better place.

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