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

Friendly Flowers
Lesson 2
Academic Standards
Philanthropy Framework


Students will study the structure, color, texture and smells of flowers and discuss the importance of beauty (is it a want or a need) in their lives. Students will work with a partner to create a flower with a medium of your choice. Students will realize that sharing flowers can be an act of philanthropy. They will use a problem-solving model to collaboratively choose an appropriate site for planting flowers.


One-Hour Class Period


The learner will:
  • listen to music while creating flowers with a partner.

  • decide on a philanthropic act related to flowers.

  • recognize the difference between private property and common resources.

  • use a problem-solving model to choose a site for planting.


  • Musical selections, such as “Waltz of the Flowers” by Tchaikovsky
  • Pictures of flowers gathered by students in Lesson One: Moving with the Marigolds
  • Art books with portraits of flowers
  • Gardening magazines with flower pictures
  • Live flowers
  • White paper
  • Art mediums, such as the following:
  • Oil pastels
  • Paints, finger paints, water colors
  • Construction paper
  • Tissue paper
  • Clay
  • Colored pencils
  • Checklist of Observations (Attachment One)
  • Where to Plant-- Planning Chart (Attachment Two)
Handout 1
Checklist of Observations
Handout 2
Where to Plant—Planning Chart

Instructional Procedure(s):

Anticipatory Set:
Arrange in advance for someone to knock on the door and deliver a vase of flowers or a beautiful potted flower (as a surprise to the students). Ask the person (the principal or another teacher) to bring them in and say that they are a gift for you or your classroom in order to cheer you up, say thank you, or brighten the room. The giver should say it in a way that creates a warm feeling for you or the whole class. Say thank you in a way that shows the students that the gift makes you feel special. Put the flowers in a place for everyone to enjoy.

  • Talk to the students about how the gift made you feel. Discuss how flowers add beauty to the room (and world). Discuss whether beauty is a need or a want. Lead the students to discover that beauty (as found in flowers) adds to the quality of your life.

  • Bring out the pictures of flowers that the students brought in from home (see Lesson One: Moving with the Marigolds). Look at the pictures and explore the differences and similarities. Study and name the flower parts. Observe the real flowers—their parts, colors, texture and smell. Look at books with artists’ interpretations of flowers and gardening magazines with a variety of flowers. Help the students pay close attention to the many shapes, sizes, and colors.

  • Explain to the students that they will be creating pictures of flowers with a partner. Each partner will create half of the picture to be finished by the other partner. When the flowers are complete, the partners will sign both papers and share their pictures with the rest of the class.

  • Art Procedure: Give each student a piece of paper and ask him/her to fold the paper in half vertically. Using pencils, crayons, or a medium of your choice, have the students create half of a flower or bunch of flowers on half of the paper.

  • Turn on the music while students create. Give them ten minutes and ask them to use careful detail in their creations, remembering from the pictures. After ten minutes, they switch with their partners. Give them ten minutes to finish the others’ picture.

  • Have the students show their pictures to the class and discuss the experience. Ask them how the pictures make them feel. Accept their true feelings about the experience. How did they feel when they passed on the unfinished pictures and how did they feel when they saw the completed pictures?

  • Discuss what their school, community or world would be like if there were no music, art, or even flowers adding beauty. Review the discussion of whether beauty (and the arts) is a want or need.

  • Define philanthropy as the giving and sharing of time, talent or treasure intended for the common good. Discuss whether there is a way to share the joy of flowers with someone so that it becomes an act of philanthropy? Listen to their ideas and guide them to a realistic conclusion.

  • Discuss the difference between private property and common resources. Are there common areas in the school property or community (a park) where many people would benefit from flower plantings? Suggestions for private areas include a “Habitat-for-Humanity” house, a senior-citizen home, or the home of a community member that needs a boost.

  • Using the PACE Decision Making Model, students will decide as a group where and how to use flowers as a service to the community. (See Attachment Two: Where to Plant—Planning Chart.)


  • The partners complete an artistic rendition of a flower or bunch of flowers and communicate their reactions to the experience. (See Attachment One.)

  • Teacher observation of students in discussions and cooperative activities

School/Home Connection:

Ask the parents to take their children to a local garden, greenhouse or flower shop and have the students smell and observe the flowers closely. They could take pictures of different flowers and create a collage of flowers.

Cross-Curriculum Extensions:

  • Create a classroom mural of a garden of flowers.

  • Create a classroom book of the flowers and have the students describe their picture with one sentence.

  • Make a collage of flowers from magazine pictures.

  • Go to your local library and check out books of artists whose theme is flowers.

Bibliographical References:

  • Tchaikovsky, Pyotr Il’yich. “The Waltz of the Flowers,” Nutcracker. Angel Classics, 1999. ASIN: B0000IZSXE (This is just one of many recordings available of this classic.)
  • Art.com home page. Use the search engine to search for artwork with the theme of “flowers.” <http://www.art.com
  • The Global Gallery: the online art source. Search for “flowers.” <http://www.globalgallery.com

Lesson Developed By:

Lisa Laninga
Oakridge Public Schools
Oakridge High School
Muskegon, MI 49442


Handout 1Print Handout 1

Checklist of Observations

Used 4 colors
Described picture (how it looked and changed)
Worked cooperatively
Communicated effectively

Handout 2Print Handout 2

Where to Plant—Planning Chart

Use the following chart to determine the best location for planting flowers. Discuss the various options and keep track of each location’s positive traits. Come to a group consensus.

Permission from authorities(recipients, principal) Plants’ needs will be taken care of (sunlight, water) Space for plants Plants are easy to see
Someone’s house (Habitat for Humanity)

Retirement home

School grounds

Homeless shelter/mission house


Philanthropy Framework:

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Unit Contents:

Overview:Philanthropy in Bloom Summary


Moving with the Marigolds
Friendly Flowers
Flowering Philanthropy

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