Caring Makes a Difference

6, 7, 8

Learners reflect on their experience with performing an act of kindness from the previous lesson. They compare their experience to the message in a folktale, and write about the impact of a single small act of caring.

Lesson Rating 
PrintOne 20-minute lesson

The learner will:

  • describe their act of kindness from the previous lesson.
  • read a folktale about a brave parrot whose small act has a ripple effect.
  • write about the impact of a small act and make a plan for a future act of caring.
  • read-aloud copy or student copies of "The Brave Little Parrot" (see Bibliographical References)
  • student journals

Martin, Rafe. The Hungry Tigress: Buddhist Legends and Jataka Tales. Berkeley, California: Parallax Press, ©1990. "The Brave Little Parrot." /resources/brave-little-parrot


  1. Anticipatory Set

    Allow the students to share their stories of the acts of kindness they performed since the last class period. As each student shares, ask them to reflect on how they felt and what impact they think they may have had.

  2. Read aloud or copy for students to read the story, "The Brave Little Parrot."

  3. Ask the students to think about the little parrot's small act in the face of a big problem. Tell them to turn to a neighbor and share ideas about how their own acts of kindness could have an effect like those of the parrot. Discuss symbolic parallels between the folktale and their experiences.

  4. Have each student write in his or her journal a response to the following prompt: How can one small act of caring make a difference for the common good? And have them write details about their experience and make a plan for another act of kindness.

Cross Curriculum 

This character education mini-lesson is not intended to be a service learning lesson or to meet the K-12 Service-Learning Standards for Quality Practice. The character education units will be most effective when taught in conjunction with a student-designed service project that provides a real world setting in which students can develop and practice good character and leadership skills. For ideas and suggestions for organizing service events go to

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark MS.4 Describe the characteristics of someone who helps others.
    2. Standard PCS 02. Diverse Cultures
      1. Benchmark MS.2 Describe the importance of hearing all voices in a community and respecting their right to be heard.
      2. Benchmark MS.3 Give an example of how philanthropy can transcend cultures.
  2. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.3 Identify and give examples of stewardship in cultural traditions around the world.
      2. Benchmark MS.4 Identify and describe the actions of how citizens act for the common good.
      3. Benchmark MS.5 Describe the responsibility students have to act in the civil society sector to improve the common good.