Visualizing Health and Safety

3, 4, 5

Students define philanthropy and identify health and safety issues they encounter in their community. They create a visual display showing issues of health and safety that are important to them.

Lesson Rating 
PrintOne 45-Minute Class Period

The learner will:

  • define philanthropy as the giving and sharing of time, talent, or treasure intended for the common good.
  • recognize that citizens have a responsibility for the common good.
  • explain the difference between wants and needs.
  • create and share a visual aid to be used throughout the unit.
  • give examples of health and safety issues that are important in their community.
  • display of vocabulary words (these can be written on construction paper and displayed in the classroom throughout the unit)
  • different colored markers
  • copies of Handout One: Exit Card, enough so each student has one exit card
  • materials for creating a visual aid: a puzzle, quilt, or set of pages. Be sure to prepare this visual aid in advance of the lesson.
    • For the giant jigsaw puzzle, cut a large piece of butcher paper into a jigsaw puzzle, making sure there are the same number of puzzle pieces as there are groups. See example:
    • For the quilt, give each group a large piece of construction paper with holes punched around the outside edges. They will use yarn to "sew" the pieces together.
    • If you don't have a lot of space, use regular construction paper that you can post on the wall to stay up throughout the unit.
  • community: a group of people living in the same area and under the same government; a group having common interests and goals
  • health: a person's mental or physical condition
  • philanthropy: the giving and sharing of one's time, talent or treasure; taking voluntary action for the common good
  • safety: freedom from danger, risk or injury
  • service: (n) help given to others; useful work for which one is not paid; (v) to repair; to furnish a service to something or someone
  • service-learning: connecting the service experience to the school curriculum and requiring students to reflect on the meaning they attach to the service they performed 


  1. Teacher note: Before the lesson, decide which visual aid you will use (puzzle or quilt; see Materials section above) and prepare the materials in advance. During the group time, clarify the amount of discussion time available (suggested: 5 minutes or longer).

    Anticipatory Set:

    Write the word philanthropy on the board. Explain to the students that philanthropy means giving of your time, talent and treasure for the common good. Show the short video "What is Philanthropy?" After viewing, ask the students to explain what a philanthropist is in their own words. Ask them if they think they are or can be philanthropists. Tell students "In this unit, you are going to be philanthropists in your own comminity".

  2. Ask students what it means to be safe in their school and community. Ask them if there were times when they did not feel safe in their school or community. Briefly discuss safety and list some of the issues the students are concerned with.

  3. Discuss what good health means, and then list some of the health issues the students are concerned with.

  4. Ask the students whether good health and safety are things we need in our community or things we want (but may not get). Encourage students to debate the difference between wanting and needing these things.

  5. Discuss: Whose responsibility is it to make sure the community is a safe and healthy place to live? For example, Is it every citizen's responsibility or just the community leaders'? Maybe there are ways we can share our time, talent, and treasure to help people feel safer and healthier in our community. If we did that, how would our community be a better place for us and "the common good"?

  6. Move the students into groups of three or four. Give each group one piece of the butcher paper puzzle or the large construction paper (for quilt) and some markers. Explain to them that their job is to come up with about five or six words that describe the health and safety issues they are concerned with. Students may use any of the issues they came up with earlier or add new ones that they believe are of concern. Encourage all members of the group to participate. The students may also decorate the paper once the words are completed. Collect the group papers and hang them up in the classroom, assembling the puzzle in the display. Tell students that they will be choosing one of the ideas to work on as a class project within the next few days.

  7. Give one "exit card" to each student. Tell them to fill out their exit card with the idea they believe is the most important and why. This card is their ticket to leave. If you have never used exit cards before, explain to students that exit cards help the teacher assess the understanding of the class and plan for the next day's instruction.


Students will use an "exit card" to write about which health or safety issue is the most important to them and why. Teachers will collect these to assess understanding.


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. Benchmark E.3 Recognize that citizens have a responsibility for the common good as defined by democratic principles.
    2. Standard DP 02. Roles of Government, Business, and Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.2 Explain the difference between wants and needs.