One Small Act

6, 7, 8

Learners get inspiration from the work and words of Mother Teresa about performing small acts of kindness. They make a plan for carrying out a small act of kindness.

PrintOne 20-minute lesson

The learner will:

  • brainstorm ideas for acts of caring.
  • carry out an act of kindness and caring.
  • copies of handout below Ideas for Acts of Kindness


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Recall how Mother Teresa dedicated her life to caring for people who were poor by performing many small acts of kindness in India, the place she loved. Today we are going to reflect on what we care about most and find a way to make a small caring difference. 

  2. Tell the learners to close their eyes and picture themselves in a familiar happy place. In this place they feel content, happy, and aware of where they are. When they look around that place in their imaginations, they can observe all the good things they love. Ask them to also look around in their mind's eye and see what needs their attention or care. Tell them to open their eyes. 

    Some of them may want to share what their place is or what is good about it. Some may want to share what they noticed needs their care. 

  3. Just like Mother Teresa brought her care to the place she loved, we are going to bring a bit of joy and caring to the places we love.  In journals, the learners write about one small caring thing they can do for the place they love. 

    For example, if their home is their happy place, they could show they care by coming home and giving hugs or helping with chores. If the place they love is a trail in the woods, they can pick up trash or offer to take a friend there. Help them make connections between a place they care about and a way to show caring related to it. 

  4. Invite the learners to do something caring related to a place they care about before a given date. Then they tell the group what they did and its impact on them and the place. 

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.