First, taking a cue from some lesson plans I found online, I introduced the word philanthropy. We talked about how it means to share your time, talent and treasures for the common good. All the kids got a chance to answer the question “I’m going to be a philanthropist because I’m going to …” They did a great job and had some thoughtful answers.
Next, I read them the book Strega Nona’s Harvest. One of the characters builds a secret garden and anonymously donates the vegetables he grows to Strega Nona. She doesn’t know what to do with all the extra food. When she finds out that everyone else in town had a poor crop yield, she decides to have a feast and feed all her neighbors. The kids like the story.
After that, we made harvest goodie bags. We filled them with candy, stickers, notepads, crayons and small toys. I told the kids that the bags were for kids in our community that didn’t have enough food, like the people in the story. And that when these kids and their families go to the local food bank this Thanksgiving, that they’d get our goodie bags as an extra treat. We decided that we’d donate our creations to the 4-star charity, Homeless Solutions.
Before I left, I gave the teacher some handouts to stick in each kid’s backpack. I found the activity pages on a site called, Learning to Give. I especially like the “share, save, spend” inspired piggy bank that the kids can make themselves. If I get invited back, then this would be a fun project to do with the kids.
But enough about my experience, how about you? How have you taught young people about giving back?