What's the Big Idea?

K, 1, 2

Students will decide on a service-learning project and create posters to advertise the event.

Lesson Rating 
PrintTwo Forty-Five Minute Class Periods

The learner will:

  • respond to visual text, If God Gives You Lemons.
  • work with a group to create an informative poster to advertise lemonade sale.
  • decorate posters with geometric patterns.
  • determine best locations to display advertisements.
  • Video If God Gives You Lemons by Gregory Siers (see Bibliographical References)
  • Large white poster board or construction paper for each child
  • Crayons or markers
  • Alex and the Amazing Lemonade Stand by Liz Scott, Alex Scott and Jay Scott
  • Student journals
  • Poster Example (Handout One)

Scott, Jay, Liz Scott and Alex Scott. Alex and the Amazing Lemonade Stand. Paje Publishing Co., 2004. ISBN: 0975320009.

Siers, Gregory. If God Gives You Lemons. Introspect Pictures, 1998. 


  1. Day One:

    Anticipatory Set:

    Teacher should begin by singing, "What is a Philanthropist?" (See Handout One, Lesson Two: Philanthropy in Song). Repeat this two times, allowing the students to sing the definition.

  2. Ask the students if they have been philanthropists. Allow students time to respond. If the response is overwhelming, students may respond in small groups to allow the chance for everyone to share.

  3. Introduce the video, If God Gives You Lemons. Tell the students, "This is a video about a boy who really wanted something. Has there ever been a time when you really wanted something?" Call on a few students for responses.

  4. Watch the video. This video will need to be stopped on several occasions to be sure the students understand what is taking place. Talk about the setting, the characters and the problems in the video. Be sure to point out all the times the young boy is being a philanthropist by sharing his lemonade with people who may not have enough money to pay for it.

  5. Have the students respond to these questions about the video.

  6. Did it look like the boy had enough money to buy his bike?

    Will he be able to buy his bike after his act of philanthropy?

    How do you think that made him feel?

    Why wouldn’t he be sad that he couldn’t buy his bike?

    How do you think the man in the street felt before the boy helped him?

    How do you think he feels now?

  7. Tell the students, "The boy in the video did a wonderful thing. He shared his time, talent and his treasure for the common good. Do you think we could do what that little boy did? Can we help out somebody in need? Every community has people, like the man on the street, who don’t have everything they need. How many of you have seen or had a lemonade stand before?" Talk about the different sales you may have had as a child and the sales the students have had. Suggest that they have a lemonade sale at school to collect money to help families in need. Discuss ways the money could be used to help needy families.

  8. Introduce the story, Alex and the Amazing Lemonade Stand. Before the story is read, the teacher may choose to show the students a few of the web sites that tell the story of Alexandra Scott. She was a young girl who was fighting a battle with cancer and was able to raise money to help her parents pay for her treatments as well as pay for cancer research. She reached a goal of $1 million dollars before she passed away in the summer of 2004. Students may also wish to research Mattie Stepanek and his philanthropic endeavors.

  9. Have the students take time to illustrate or write about what they have learned today. They may choose to reflect on one of the children they read about or the young boy in the video. Remind the students that these young children were all philanthropists that did amazing things for their communities.

  10. Day Two:

    Anticipatory Set:Begin with the essential question, "Can anyone be a philanthropist?" On chart paper or a wipe board take suggestions from the class of who they think is a philanthropist. Remind the students about the children from the previous lesson. Leave the list posted in the classroom for the students to come back to as needed.

  11. Choose a time and a date for the lemonade sale.

  12. Lead the class in a whole group discussion to create a poster that contains all of the necessary information for the sale (title, date, time, place, cost, money use, etc.). This can be done while the teacher is creating the word document with a "smart board" or monitor for students to watch progress. Talk about reasons for necessary language conventions. (See Handout One for example.) Print one copy for each student.

  13. Students will mount the poster document onto the white construction paper and create a geometric pattern border using symbols appropriate to lemonade sales. Examples: lemons, ice, cups, straws, coins, children, etc. Allow the children time to develop possible illustrations. Remind the students that their poster is a unique work of art. They should all have different qualities. This would also be a great time to talk about public art and how their poster will be on display as a form of this type of art.

  14. Students should decide on locations to display their posters around the building and possible community locations to advertise their sale.

  15. Hang posters. Students should interact with other peers and teachers as posters are being hung to explain their event.


Teacher observation of student participation during class discussion. Holistic assessment of student journals. Philanthropist chosen? Illustration applies? Simple sentence explains? Personal best? Students will receive 1,2,3 or 4 based on the guidelines in the rubric. A student receiving a score of four would have successfully completed all four areas. Teacher observation of student pattern borders on posters should be used to assess student’s ability to recognize and extend patterns. Pattern begun? Pattern continued at least half way around poster? Pattern completed? Personal best? Students will receive 1,2,3 or 4 based on the guidelines in the rubric. A student receiving a score of four would have successfully completed all four areas.

Cross Curriculum 

Students will identify a community need. Students should come to a consensus on which community need they would like to help meet. At the end of the unit, they will need to deliver the money to the recipient.

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. Benchmark E.4 Define and give examples of selfishness and selflessness.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark E.5 Identify one local citizen who has helped the community through giving and/or service.