Through multiple visits to a retirement home, letter writing, or by inviting seniors to an event, children learn effective communication, sensitivity to people of different generations, and shared experiences while learning about the common good and stewardship.

The children tell stories about their family memories and the special “memory items” brought from home. (See Lesson One: Traveling Back in Time.) They meet their senior friend in person or through writing and share and compare memories. 

In this lesson, a picture books raises awareness of the importance of memories to the people of all ages that make up a community. The children learn the definition of philanthropy and identify an act of philanthropy in the literature book Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge.

The children select a service project based on interests and abilities, and community needs. They plan and carry out the project. Some community projects may include fixing up a park, helping at the library, helping a neighbor, building bird houses for the nature center, and making banners or posters to teach others about a need.

Children learn that the community has four sectors: business, government, nonprofit, and family. The children may walk through an area in their local community to identify which sector is represented by different places. As an alternative, they may look at a local map. 

The children recognize they form a community when they are brought together for a common purpose. They are encouraged to be philanthropic within interest groups, schools, and families to build trust and for the common good of the community.

This lesson introduces the definition of a community and explores how communities come together to help or address a need. 

Photo credit: Woodward Downtown by Becky McCray is licensed under CC BY 2.0


The book the Rainbow Fish tells the story of a fish who learns to give a little of himself for the sake of others. We discuss the impact of giving something you value to make a better community.