Our Classroom Is a Community

Grades: 
K, 1, 2

The students recognize that their classroom is a community because the students are brought together for a common purpose. The students are encouraged to be philanthropic within their classroom, school and family. They analyze how philanthropy and trust affect the common good of the community.

Lesson Rating 
0
Duration 
One Forty-Five Minute Period (plus a debriefing time a couple days later)
Objectives 

The learner will:

  • recognize that the classroom is a community of people with a common purpose.
  • demonstrate sharing time, talent or treasure in the classroom community.
  • give examples of when he/she can do something philanthropic without permission.
  • state why trust is important in a community.
  • define philanthropy as the sharing of time, talent or treasure for the common good.

Materials 

  • Index cards
  • Pencils

Home Connection 

Interactive Parent / Student Homework:Discuss how families can also be considered communities. What are their common purposes and what do family members do for the common good of the family? For homework, the students should brainstorm with their families what philanthropic deeds can be done at home for the common good of their family. Encourage them to think about sharing time, talent and treasure. See Attachment One: Our Family Is a Community.

Bibliography 

 

Instructions

Print
  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Ask for a volunteer. Give the student an index card with a philanthropic deed printed or illustrated on it. (Ideas: Offer to sharpen a pencil for someone. Share something with another student. Offer to initiate a group game. Offer to clean up a mess in the room.) Have the student do the act for someone in the room. Repeat with two more students and cards. Ask the participating students how it felt to be the giver and receiver. Discuss how each act is good for the community/common good.

  2. Review the definition of a community from Lesson One: What Is a Community? A community is formed when a group of people come together for a common purpose or for the common good. Discuss in what ways the classroom fits that definition and can be considered a community.

  3. Ask the students what attributes, behaviors and actions make the classroom a pleasant community. Make a list on the chalkboard of positive things they can do in the school and classroom without permission.

  4. Define philanthropy as the giving or sharing of time, talent or treasure for the common good. Point out that many of the deeds they listed on the board are acts of philanthropy. Help the students to classify their list into three categories—sharing time (playing at recess), sharing talent (helping with work), and sharing treasure (sharing a treat from lunch).

  5. Discuss what it means to trust each other. What does trust feel like? Discuss how or why trust matters within the classroom community. Without trust, how will people feel about accepting acts of philanthropy?

  6. Pass out the index cards and have each student write or draw one philanthropic act he or she can perform in the classroom or school. They should think about and be ready to explain how that act provides for the common good for the school/classroom community.

  7. Encourage the students to carry out the philanthropic act sometime in the next few days. After a few days, discuss how students feel about their classroom/school community. Ask if (and how) this activity has improved the common good of the community. Encourage the students to continue to share their time, talent and treasure with others to build up positive feelings and trust in the community (social/community capital). Does this activity help improve the classroom’s purpose (improve their ability to learn)? Discuss what it means that “citizens” have responsibility for the common good. Why are these acts their responsibility and not just something extra?

Assessment 

After a couple days, have a debriefing discussion. Discuss how students feel about their classroom/school community as a giver and receiver. Ask if (and how) this activity has improved the common good of the community. Encourage the students to continue to share their time, talent and treasure with others to build up positive feelings and trust in the community. Does this activity help improve the classroom’s purpose (improve their ability to learn)? Evaluate students’ understanding of philanthropy, community and common good.

Cross Curriculum 

None for this lesson.

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.3 Recognize that citizens have a responsibility for the common good as defined by democratic principles.
    2. Standard DP 02. Roles of Government, Business, and Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.3 Identify ways that trust is important in all communities.
      2. Benchmark E.6 Explain why acting philanthropically is good for the community, state, nation, or world.
    3. Standard DP 06. Role of Family in Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.2 Identify examples of families supporting giving and sharing.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark E.1 Define the word <em>trust</em> and its role in all communities.
    2. Standard PCS 05. Philanthropy and Government
      1. Benchmark E.1 Define community as the degree that people come together for the common good.
      2. Benchmark E.7 Describe why the classroom, school, or neighborhood is a community governed by fundamental democratic principles.
  3. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.7 Give classroom examples of when a student does not need the teacher's permission to act philanthropically.

Academic Standards

Select categories to search for standards.

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