Here are lesson plans to help you link learning to generosity during the time of social distancing.

The lesson plans below provide great conversation starters for you and your family about our roles in civil society.

A few more resources during COVID-19 physical distancing:

  • Also, look on Learning to Give's homepage for "currently featured" lessons.
  • This article gives tips for family activities that build generosity.
  • Our literature guides provide discussion prompts to teach generosity with literature.
  • Follow Learning to Give on social media for inspiration, ideas, and tips. We're on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

Lesson Plans 

March 23, 2020

1. Madam C.J. Walker: Leader in Philanthropy and Successful Business Woman -- a lesson for secondary students

If your family is watching the Netflix series "Self Made" about the life of Madam C.J. Walker, this lesson plan guides youth investigation of her extraordinary generosity.  



Background information about her philanthropy and career - Briefing Paper on Madam C.J. Walker


2. Powerful Words Can Warm the Heart - a lesson plan for elementary students

As we gather supplies for our families and prepare for social distancing, food is not the only necessity that gets us through. This lesson plan helps young people reflect on the value of art in community. Read aloud the book Frederick or follow along with this YouTube version.


    Background information - Briefing Paper on Public Art in Philanthropy


March 24, 2020

1. Writers as Activists: Fable for Today and Tomorrow - Rachel Carson - a lesson for secondary students

Since it is difficult to congregate in the time of COVID-19, one form of advocacy we have is writing. Read about the mighty pen of Rachel Carson who influenced people and actions to protect the environment. 


Background information - Briefing Paper on Rachel Carson




2. Garden for Life - a lesson for elementary students

While community gardening might be offlimits, we can be outside and work on beautifying areas on our own. Maybe even organize a neighborhood beautification online and then schedule it so people aren't working in the same space at the same time. 


Background information - Briefing Paper on Environmentalism 

Brave Little Parrot folktale

Kogi the Priest folktale

The Secret of Dreaming folktale

March 25 - 26

1. Valuing Community - a lesson for secondary students

Even if we are separated during social distancing, we find ways to connect with others in our community. This lesson guides discussions about community and community capital. Write a statement of what community means to you. Share it with someone in your virtual community.


Background information - briefing paper on Social Capital


2. The Lonely Fish - a lesson plan for elementary students

Sharing literature is a great way to learn about people, places, and emotions when you can't get out and experience them in real life. This lesson plan guides a discussion about the importance of generosity in community. As we are isolated physically, our attitude and words can make a difference for others. We can brighten someone's day by writing notes to people we know but cannot see.



Literature guide for Rainbow Fish


March 30-31

1. How Can We Care -- a lesson for secondary students

This lesson is part of a larger unit on caring. This lesson teaches the story of the Starfish that illustrates that we can start by making a difference to one. Encourage family members to do something small as a start, possibly leaving kind clues around the neighborhood on stones for neighbors to find. 

Amnesty International video "Look Beyond Borders



2. The Lion and the Mouse - a lesson plan for elementary students

Fables are short stories about animals that illustrate moral lessons. This lesson plan guides a discussion about the fable The Lion and the Mouse. Use this story as a springboard for thinking about how someone small can do something that makes a difference. A project idea may be to put kind messages in your window or on the sidewalk for passersby. Another idea is to share a funny video or inspiring quote on social media. 


list of folktales from around the world to teach generosity