Impact of Giving (K-5)
  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 02. Roles of Government, Business, and Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.1 Give examples of needs met by government, business, civil society, and family.
    2. Standard DP 03. Names and Types of Organizations within the Civil Society Sector
      1. Benchmark E.2 Name an example of a civil society charitable organization.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 02. Diverse Cultures
      1. Benchmark E.2 Discuss the importance of respect for others.
    2. Standard PCS 03. Philanthropy and Economics
      1. Benchmark E.10 Identify local people who have jobs in the civil society sector.
    3. Standard PCS 07. Skills of Civic Engagement
      1. Benchmark E.2 Discuss an issue affecting the common good in the classroom or school and demonstrate respect and courtesy for differing opinions.
  3. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.5 Give examples of actions students can take to improve the common good and list or describe responsibilities that go with those actions.
  4. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 01. Needs Assessment
      1. Benchmark E.2 Research the need in the school, neighborhood, local community, state, nation, or world.

In this one period lesson, learners discuss hunger and learn about nonprofits in the community. Students respond to literature and reflect on ways people give and take action. As a service project, they raise awareness of the issue or of giving opportunities. 

Photo Credit: FMSC Distribution Partner - Haiti by Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) is licensed under CC by 4.0 

PrintOne class period, plus time for a project

The learners will...

  • reflect on key points from literature and relate them to local issues.
  • discuss the impact of giving on self and others.
  • evaluate #GivingTuesday and ways people can make a difference with time, talent, or treasure.
  • raise awareness of ways to address hunger and poverty.
  • teacher copy of Here We Go: A Poetry Friday Power Book  (poems and writing activities about social change)
  • read-aloud copy of Maddi's Fridge by Louis Brandt or A Shelter in our Car by Monica Gunning (optional)
  • GivingTuesday
  • Save the Children
  • Service-Learning Toolkit for Civic Participation
  1. Anticipatory Set: Share these big numbers with the students and ask what they think people can do.

    Today, 815 million people are hungry. The world’s farmers produce enough food to feed 10 billion, and the global population is currently 7.6 billion. Why are some people not getting enough food? It is because of poverty, war, climate change, and waste. 

  2. Read aloud either Maddi’s Fridge by Lois Brandt or A Shelter in Our Car by Monica Gunning. Talk about the experience of the children and families in the story.  What are some ways the characters were kind and supportive of others? What words or attitudes seemed hurtful to the people who were already hurting? 

    Discuss what it is like to experience hunger. What are the effects on our bodies, minds, and attitudes when we don't get enough to eat for a day? What would it be like if every day was like that?

  3. Have a representative from a community nonprofit visit the class to talk about the work they do. This may be a nonprofit that helps people who are hungry, or it may be an organization that addresses another issue. The students may listen and ask questions about the work, how the needs are addressed, and how to use respectful language and kindness to support people who receive the needed services. 

    Ask the guest to tell the class how the children or others can help them do their work. 

  4. After the guest leaves, reflect on what they learned about the community need and the nonprofit work. Start to brainstorm about things they can do as a class to volunteer, take action, or share information to address the need they learned about.

  5. What is real change? Students learn about how nonprofits, government, and individuals together address the issue of hunger. The Learning to Give toolkit about hunger and homelessness provides links to resources and project ideas.

  6. Learn more together about #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. Following the two major shopping days of consumerism, Black Friday and CyberMonday, GivingTuesday is one of the biggest giving days of the year. It is a day people give their time, talent, or treasure to the causes they care about. People creatively use social media to tell their friends to support the causes they care about. Explore some of the many creative ideas at

  7. Discuss what these quotes mean and share stories of how giving feels and its impact:

    • "The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in service to others."
    • "A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never see." - Greek proverb
    • Discuss with students what they like about #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving.
  8. Service-Learning: Work together to learn about one nonprofit and share the information with others to help the organization. Design a poster with hunger facts and information about the nonprofit's work and how people can help. Hang up the poster in a place where others can learn about the work and what they can do to help.


Have students write or draw what they learned about hunger and the work of nonprofits. 


Students visually represent the facts they learned and write a paragraph reflection about what they learned and what they did and plan to do to make a difference.