Grades 6-8 Summit Learning

Celebrity Social Responsibility

This inquiry leads students through an investigation that assesses the extent to which celebrities and public figures have a social responsibility to give back to the communities and take stances on controversial issues. The inquiry provides students with the chance to explore the current ways celebrities influence society and the risks those celebrities face when they take public stances on social issues. Although this compelling question is broad, the inquiry centers on Latinx and African American celebrities. This strategic use of sources is particularly useful in showing the ways that some minority groups in the United States can use their celebrity status to impact American society. 


Compelling Question:

Does Celebrity Require Social Responsibility?

Staging the Question:

Watch a video documenting the protest of NFL player Colin Kaepernick and participate in a class discussion that assesses the extent to which Kaepernick’s actions were responsible.

Supporting Question How do celebrities give back to society?

Formative Task Create a detailed list that shows the various ways celebrities give back to society.

Sources Source A: “The New Ethics of Pop: Celebrity Activism since Lady Gaga”
Source B: “5 Latino Philanthropists Using Fame for Good”
Source C: “Top 5 Black Celebrity Philanthropists of All Time!”


Supporting Question What can celebrities accomplish by taking a public stance on social issues?

Formative Task Complete part of a Venn Diagram that documents the accomplishments of celebrities who take public stance.

Sources Source A: “For black celebrities like Oprah, it's impossible to be apolitical”
Source B: “Colin Kaepernick has done more than make a statement, he has shown NFL players their power”
Source C: “Eva Longoria wants the Senate to Pass the DREAM Act”


Supporting Question What do celebrities risk by taking a public stance on social issues?

Formative Task Complete a Venn Diagram that documents the risks of celebrities who take public stances.

Sources Source A: “Muhammed Ali Refuses Army Induction”
Source B: “How the Black Power Protest at the 1968 Olympics Killed Careers”
Source C: “Nike, Jordan endure share of controversy”

Summative Performance Task

Argument: Does celebrity require social responsibility? Construct an argument (e.g., detailed outline, poster, essay) that answers the compelling question using specific claims and relevant evidence from sources while acknowledging competing views.
Extension: Create a social media post that responds to a recent cause championed by a celebrity.

Taking Informed Action

Understand: Research an issue or social problem that holds personal significance.
Assess: Identify any celebrities, politicians, or public figures who has spoken out about that issue.
Act: Write and send a letter to a celebrity who has expressed a position on that issue.