Looking for ideas for your service-learning projects? generationOn's curriculum partner, Learning to Give, provides over 1,600 common core and state-standard aligned philanthropy education lesson plans to inspire K-12 educators. Search LTG to educate students as philanthropists (people who give time, talent, and treasure for the common good), give a meaningful start to the service-learning process, and find lessons that infuse civic purpose into academic subjects.
Check back each month to find lesson plans tailored to generationOn's monthly service themes.
March: Homelessness and Poverty
A Billion Hungry People (K-2)
This lesson includes a simulation that helps children understand the number of people in the world who are food insecure. The simulation generates empathy for the injustice of the unequal distribution of food. They learn that food is unequally distributed and discuss how they feel about taking action to address this issue. Follow this lesson with an action plan lesson, "Helping People Who are Hungry"
To raise awareness of the needs of others who are unable to provide a balanced nutritious diet for their own families is the basis of this lesson. It also introduces the Heifer Project, which provides families with resources and education so they can have nutritious food and earn a living within their own communities. Focus Question: How might individuals and society address the issues of poverty, homelessness and hunger, and their underlying causes?
Students assess their personal diets and view pictures of families around the world with the food they eat in a week. Through awareness and discussion, they view cultural and regional differences. They discuss the health, cost, and distribution of food around the world. Follow this lesson with the lesson Youth Action for Global Health.
Addressing Poverty (9-12)
The learners analyze why nonprofit organizations are needed, especially when for-profit and governmental institutions do some of the same work. They investigate a local nonprofit that works to alleviate poverty in the community and describe the importance of philanthropy in the community.
Looking for more? Check out this toolkit for additional lessons and resources related to homelessness and poverty.
February: Human Rights and Equality
It's always the right time to stand up for others. Help teach kids and teens to be aware of injustice in all forms, the importance of being an advocate and how to stop discrimination in its tracks.
Students will listen to a story that illustrates that although we have differences, we are also very similar. They will begin to understand the definitions of diversity and realize that focusing on the differences alone may cause conflict.
First impressions of people can often lead to misunderstandings and unfair treatment of others. Using photographs, this lesson raises awareness of our tendency to judge others based on the appearance of a person. Learners reflect on the value of diversity and the necessity for more tolerance.
Raise students' awareness of the importance of advocating for justice and kindness. The learners explore ways they can play a role in bringing about a positive change in their school, community, and world.
Learners explore and share their attitudes about diversity and issues of justice and kindness. The learners brainstorm ways that they can promote the common good by working to eliminate stereotyping, intolerance, discrimination, and prejudice.
January: Youth Changemakers
Kids and teens are our future! By making their mark on the world, they are capable of creating lasting change in their communities by being caring and compassionate! Martin Luther King, Jr. exemplified this ability for change through his work toward equality for all.
For lesson plans on tolerance and injustice, profiles on changemakers and much more, visit the our Martin Luther King, Jr. Day website.
December: Be a JoyMaker
There's so much more to the holidays than good deals and big presents. It's also a great time to volunteer your time to help those in need! Celebrate the most wonderful time of the year by teaching students the true meaning of the holidays and how giving back is an important part of our culture.
Empathy & Gratitude (K-12)
These lessons help students understand the importance of each member of the community, the definition of philanthropy, the needs to various groups, and the importance of advocacy for the common good.
Homelessness & Poverty (K-12)
These lessons introduce the concepts of hunger, homelessness and poverty and discuss varying elements of these issues in local communities at grade-appropriate levels.
Civil Society (K-12)
These lessons explain the history of the social sector and who civil society plays an integral role in the community, country and around the world.
More Lesson Plans
For lesson plans from previous months and subjects, visit the links below:
November: Military & Veterans
October: Bullying Prevention
August: Education & Literacy
July: Health & Wellness
June: Animal Welfare
May: Senior Citizens
April: Environment - Water
January: Human Rights and Social Justice
December 2015: Homelessness and Poverty
September 2015: Emergency Preparedness and Response
Teaching philanthropy (private citizen action for the common good) is central to the mission of schools and critical to the survival of our democracy. We teach students that they are part of something bigger than themselves. They learn why citizens contribute to the greater good and why students have the same responsibility.
For more academic service-learning lesson plans infused with philanthropy education, search the Learning to Give lesson database by grade-level, academic area, standards, and topics.