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

Everyone Can Be a Real Hero
Lesson 7
From Unit: Real Heroes
Academic Standards
Philanthropy Framework


The purpose of this lesson is to help the students understand that they can make a difference to someone by donating earning money to donate to a charity.


One Month


The learner will:

  • volunteer their time and talents to earn money that will be donated to a charity.

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 will raise money to donate to the Ronald McDonald House or a local charity.


  • Chart Paper 

Instructional Procedure(s):

Anticipatory Set:
Ask students to close their eyes and then raise their hands if they feel that sometime in the future they will probably be a real hero. Ask students to open their eyes and see how many hands are up. Talk about the possibility that every one of them could be a hero now by becoming philanthropists by giving of their time talents and treasure to help some, not just possibly sometime in the future.

  • Ask students to identify Ronald McDonald.  Ask them to explain what they know about the house that is named after him. (See Biographical Reference) Tell students that the house is a place where parents can stay free of charge when their children are patients in the local hospital.

  • Explain to the students that they are going to do various jobs to earn money that will be donated to the Ronald McDonald House or a local charity.

Teacher Note: Students should be reminded to only work for their family members or people that their families know.

  • Brainstorm types of jobs that they might do.  (baby sit, rake leaves, pull weeds out of a garden, clean a room, carry out the trash, etc) Record these jobs on a large piece of chart paper and post in the room.

  • Remind the students that it is important to do their jobs cheerfully and thoroughly.

  • Have a secure place in the classroom available that the students can bring their earned "donations" in on a daily basis.

  • Have various students count and record the amount  of money collected each day until the end of the project.  This could be in the form of a bar graph located in a central location.

  • Arrange an all-school assembly to publicly present the proceeds to the charity and recognize the efforts and achievement of all students. If the money is being donated to a Ronald McDonald house try to have a representative come to accept the donation.


Put the following statement on the chalk board, "What I gained by participating in this project." Either orally or in writing have students address the statement.

Cross-Curriculum Extensions:

This project could be extended to include more classes or the entire school.

Bibliographical References:

Lesson Developed By:

Lynn Seeber
Forest Hills Public School
Orchard View Elementary School
Grand Rapids, MI 49525


Philanthropy Framework:


Kathi, Teacher – Muskegon, MI10/9/2007 8:46:24 PM

(The positive aspect of this lesson was) it taught the students that helping others is important. They enjoyed this lesson a lot.

Tom, Teacher – Muskegon, MI10/9/2007 8:47:48 PM

This is my favorite lesson. It's wide open to be creative. It is an excellent opportunity to talk about and discuss how the students in your classroom are heroes (acts of philanthropy).

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