Learning to Give, Philanthropy education resources that teach giving and civic engagement

Lesson 1
Academic Standards
Philanthropy Framework


This lesson encourages children to think of the feelings of others. Students discover that it feels good to make others feel good.


One Thirty-Minute Class Period


The learner will:

  • state what they like about a classmate.
  • respond appropriately when receiving a compliment.


  • Paper and pencils
  • Three faces drawn on the chalkboard or large paper (see Anticipatory Set)
  • A jar containing a slip of paper for each student on which the teacher has written a specific a compliment

Instructional Procedure(s):

Anticipatory Set:
Draw three large faces on the chalkboard or large sheets of paper, one face should be a "happy face", one a "straight mouth face" and one a "sad face". Have the faces displayed so that they are spaced apart. Ask students to remember how they felt walking into the classroom on the first day of school, Were they a little frightened or worried that they wouldn't know anyone? Then ask the students to look at the faces and to go stand by the face that best shows that feeling. Take some time to ask several students to tell why they choose that face. Then ask them to move to the face that shows how they feel about being in that classroom today. (Presumably, several students will move from the "straight" or "sad" face to the to the happy face. If everyone begins at the happy face, that's wonderful, just skip the next question and go on.) Now ask, What things happened in the classroom that caused the change? What makes this classroom a good place to be? Are there things students can say that will also make them appreciate each other?


  • Ask students if they know what it is called when someone says something nice about a person. Explain that the word is called a compliment. Discuss the meaning of the word "compliment."

  • Discuss how it feels to receive a compliment. (Often compliments will cause persons to smile and they will feel happy.) Stress that a compliment given to another person should be true.

  • Remind students to say, "Thank you," after they have received a compliment.

  • Discuss how important it is to be a part of the "classroom community." We need to care about and take care of each other. Giving compliments is an example of caring and taking care.

  • The teacher should write a compliment to each student on a slip of paper and put it into a container. (Try to identify something unique and specific about each student.) To practice receiving compliments, the teacher will randomly pull compliments out of the container and give the compliment to the intended person. The teacher should remind the students to respond appropriately to the compliment.

  • The teacher should then write each student's name on a piece of paper and place it in another container. Students may pull names out of the container, making sure not to get their own names. Students should write or draw a compliment to the person whose name they drew. Remind students that a compliment is something nice that will make a person feel good. Allow time for students to formulate compliments. Some students may require compliment starters such as:
    • I like you because…
    • You are a friend because…
    • Thank you for….

  • Have students take turns paying compliments to each other in front of the class and thanking each other for the compliments.

  • Ask students how it felt to receive a compliment. Ask students how giving a compliment to someone made them feel.


The teacher may observe that the students have given an appropriate compliment and appropriately received a compliment. The teacher may also ask students to explain how the giving and receiving of compliments improves the climate of the classroom and school.

Lesson Developed By:

Lynn Chamberlain
Central Elementary School
Munising Public Schools
Munising, MI 49862


Philanthropy Framework:


Eileen, Teacher Muskegon, MI10/6/2007 7:43:51 PM

My students enjoyed giving and receiving compliments. Some were surprised at the compliments they received. I saw many smiles.

The students recognize that they can make others feel good. This lesson is great for helping to build a healthy classroom community.

Adriana, Teacher Maracaibo, Venezuela5/18/2011 10:16:13 PM

Great Lesson plan. It's quite perfect. Thank you for sharing it.

JEN, Educator MESA, AZ2/1/2012 2:29:56 PM

I am a Speech Language Pathologist who used this lesson with Children with Autism!

Sandy, Other Edison, NJ1/5/2015 5:27:13 PM

I'm an SLP and I'm going to use this lesson tomorrow in a Multiply Disabled classroom I push into twice a week.

Maxine, Other Plane, TX1/7/2015 8:43:45 AM

This was a GREAT lesson plan. I'm a Speech Language Pathologist and used this for a Social Skills inclusive activity with my Autistic students.

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Unit Contents:

Overview:We Can All Do Our Share Summary


I'm a Philanthropist!
Heroes in Our Community

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