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

Sharing is Caring
Lesson 1
Academic Standards
Philanthropy Framework


The purpose of this lesson is to engage students in a problem-solving task when there is a scarcity of materials. They collaborate kindly and share their message with others through art and a written statement.


30-60 minutes


The learner will:

  • engage in an activity that requires sharing to solve a problem.
  • brainstorm a variety of solutions to the problem.
  • discover that they must share limited resources to solve task.
  • give an example of caring.

Service Experience:

Although this lesson contains a service project example, decisions about service plans and implementation should be made by students, as age appropriate.
Learn more about the stages of service-learning.

Students complete an art project using the letters and differnt papers and art supplies so each letter is decorated differently. Ask the students to brainstorm messages they can teach others from this lesson in sharing. Write that message on a bulletin board and display their art. 


  • Cardboard alphabet letters (equal to half the number of students who are present)
  • Crayons or pencils
  • Paper

Instructional Procedure(s):

Anticipatory Set:

Explain that there is a problem and that help is needed from the class to solve it.


  • Explain problem. Each child is to trace and color the designated cardboard alphabet letter on white paper, (it could be any letter, but for purposes of instruction, use the letter "A." Only a limited amount of letters are available (the teacher will have enough for half of the class).

  • Invite children to brainstorm ideas as to how the problem can be solved.

  • Accept all reasonable suggestions and write them on large blank piece of chart paper.

  • Students will discuss their choices with teacher and decide why each will or will not work.

  • Cross out suggestions that will not work.

  • Students will decide which solution will work the best.

  • Students will complete the task.

  • Tell students that there are many ways to demonstrate caring. Three important ways can be sharing supplies, taking turns, talking kindly about solutions, and inviting others to play with you.


Teacher observation. Teacher will note whether children discover that one of the solutions to the problem is for everyone to take turns and to share the letters that they have. Ask students to share ways that they have demonstrated this behavior outside of the classroom.

Lesson Developed By:

Janice Peterson
Detroit Public Schools
Woodward Elementary School
Detroit, MI 48208


Philanthropy Framework:


Viveca, Teacher Albion, MI9/23/2007 10:17:59 PM

The students really liked this activity.

Margaret, Teacher Muskegon, MI9/23/2007 10:19:26 PM

This was a wonderful opportunity for "new" students to multi-age to get aquainted with "veteran multi-agers."

JOYCE, Educator TX, TX8/21/2011 6:29:59 PM

Thank you for sharing this lesson. I will be using this the first week of school.

Shannon, Media Specialist Fargo, ND3/12/2013 12:37:44 AM

Check out this book on Sharing:
It can be a valuable asset to this lesson.

Submit a Comment

All rights reserved. Permission is granted to freely use this information for nonprofit (noncommercial), educational purposes only. Copyright must be acknowledged on all copies.