Do Something Beautiful

K, 1, 2

Children recognize an act of philanthropy in literature and discuss ways to make the world more beautiful with acts of philanthropy.

PrintOne Forty-Minute Session

The learner will:

  • define philanthropy as giving of time, talent and treasure for the common good.
  • create something beautiful as an act of philanthropy.
  • Read-aloud copy of the book Something Beautiful by Sharon Dennis Wyeth

Grammer, Red. Teaching Peace. Australia: Red Note Records, 1986. Audio CD. ASIN: B000009NGF

Wyeth, Sharon Dennis. Something Beautiful. New York: Dragonfly Books, 2002. ISBN: 0440412102


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Talk about the expression "beautiful inside and out." Brainstorm things that make someone beautiful inside.

    Note that there are many perspectives on what makes someone beautiful on the outside, and there is beauty in everyone. 

  2. Before reading aloud the book Something Beautiful by Sharon Dennis Wyeth, ask the children to listen for what is beautiful in the girl's walk around her neighborhood.

  3. Discuss the book, using some of the following questions as a guide.

    1. What did the girl's mother say "everyone should have" that prompted her to ask about beauty?
    2. How does she define beautiful after her teacher taught her to spell it?
    3. What are some of the beautiful things her friends and neighbors told her about?
    4. What do you have in your world that is beautiful; something that when you have it, your heart is happy? 
    5. What act of philanthropy did she do? Why do you think it made her feel powerful?
    6. Who benefitted from her actions?
    7. Does every philanthropic act play a part in making our world more beautiful?
  4. Ask the children what they can do to make something beautiful at home, at school, or in the community. Just as the girl in the story had a choice of what she'd do, acts of philanthropy are a choice. When we decide to do somthing, we feel powerful.

    Make a plan to do something beautiful - from drawing and sharing a picture to volunteering to cleaning up a natural area.

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. Standard DP 02. Roles of Government, Business, and Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.5 Recognize that volunteering requires freedom of choice.
    3. Standard DP 04. Operational Characteristics of Nonprofit Organizations
      1. Benchmark E.1 Describe how citizens organize in response to a need.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 05. Philanthropy and Government
      1. Benchmark E.9 Describe how philanthropic activities can bring about social change.
  3. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.1 Describe one reason why a person might give or volunteer.
      2. Benchmark E.2 Identify why people practice philanthropy related to their own self-interest.
      3. Benchmark E.3 Define stewardship and give examples.
      4. 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.