Lesson Rating 
One Thirty-Minute Class Period

The learner will:

  • identify and describe the behaviors of the characters.
  • define philanthropy.
  • describe how the people can work to make the world a better or more beautiful place.

  • Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney (see Bibliographical References)
  • Journals or paper
Home Connection 

Interactive Parent/Student Homework:Discuss the various jobs in the story and talk about jobs that students may want to have when they grow up. Ask each child to go home tonight and interview his or her parents about their jobs. The next day, they may either share a picture or a verbal/written description of their parents' jobs. (See Attachment One: Jobs in the Community from Lesson Six: Making the World a More Beautiful Place.)


Cooney, Barbara. Miss Rumphius. New York: Viking Penguin, 1982. ISBN: 0140505393.


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Ask students if they can think of anything they can do that would make their school, home, or community a more beautiful place. Write down student ideas and save them. Then tell the students you are going to read a story about a woman who made the world a more beautiful place. Read Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney.

  2. Read the book to the class. Point to key picture items.

  3. On selected pages, stop and encourage the children to interact with the book in the following ways:

    • Identify key items in the picture that will aid in listening comprehension.
    • Hypothesize about what may happen next, what the motives of characters might be, and why something is happening.
    • Label the feelings of the characters.

Note and record as appropriate how children:

discuss and label the feelings of the characters.
draw themselves making the world a better place.
participate in the discussion of the meaning of philanthropy.

Cross Curriculum 

Students can design and carry out a plan to make the world a more beautiful place. Ideas include cleaning up a park, planting flowers, and organizing a recycling effort.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.1 Define philanthropy as the giving and sharing of time, talent, or treasure intended for the common good.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 07. Skills of Civic Engagement
      1. Benchmark E.1 Explore and research issues and present solutions using communication tools.

Academic Standards

Select categories to search for standards.

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