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

Topics and Ideas—Sort and Seize
Lesson 2
Academic Standards
Philanthropy Framework


This lesson will give students the opportunity to explore the writing process and work through it entirely. Students will reflect on the needs of their readers when writing their stories.


One Sixty-Minute Class Period


The learner will:

  • predict the needs of the recipients of the stories.

  • create a rough draft and revise it.

  • reread their own work and self-correct errors.

  • read another student's work and give advice for improvement.


  • Paper

  • Pencils

  • Red pen

  • What Do Authors Do? by Eileen Christelow (see Bibliographic References )

Instructional Procedure(s):

    Anticipatory Set:
    Read the "What Do Authors Do?" to the class.
  • After reading, ask the children if they think writing a story is like the description given in the book. Have them list the parts they think really happen.

  • Ask, "Where do we begin if we are going to write a story?" (With a topic, then make a web of related ideas) Ask the students to talk about their audience, that is, the very sick children who will read or listen to the stories. What are their needs? How can the stories meet those needs? Are there any ideas that should be left out of the stories?

  • Model a short example of choosing a topic and then writing ideas to go with the topic in the web.

  • Model how to put ideas into a rough draft.

  • Have the students begin the writing process. Monitor and offer assistance when needed.

  • When finished, ask students reread their own work and self-correct errors.

  • Have students exchange stories, read each other's work and give advice for improvement.


The students will have conferences to help them guide their writing, but no formal assessment will take place.

Cross-Curriculum Extensions:

Students can create a classbook that is a collection of their philanthropic ideas and efforts.

Bibliographical References:

Christelow, Eileen. What Do Authors Do? Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997. ISBN: 0395866219

Lesson Developed By:

Jennifer Black
Watervliet Public Schools
North Elementary School
Watervliet, MI 49098


Philanthropy Framework:


Kathy, Teacher Holland, MI9/22/2007 8:56:31 AM

It's a good lesson because it ties in required curriculum with a philanthropic purpose. The children were enthused and worked hard as authors. Having an authentic audience is important.

Deborah, Teacher Romulus, MI9/22/2007 8:58:20 AM

(The positive aspect of using ths lesson was it) made the students think deeper.

Kathi, Teacher Muskegon, MI9/22/2007 9:00:30 AM

The students really liked the book "What Do Authors Do?" It really made an impact on editing and how important it is. My students hate to edit their stories, but after hearing what an author does, they were excited to fix their stories.

Nate, Teacher Muskegon, MI9/23/2007 10:29:23 AM

The lesson was clear and easy to follow.

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