Watercolor Ways

K, 1, 2

This lesson introduces learners to our global community.  Learners see how they depend on the earth and the earth depends on them. Since we share the earth with many other people, we have a responsibility (for the good of all) to be good stewards of the earth by helping care for it.

PrintOne Forty-Five Minute Class Period

The learner will:

  • define stewardship as the careful and responsible management of the Earth.
  • name ways to be good stewards of the Earth.
  • create a visual representation of the lesson themes with watercolors
  • Lyrics to the song “It’s A Small World” may be found online.
  • a model of the earth (a globe or map)
  • read aloud copy of The Earth and I by Frank Asch (See Bibliography)
  • watercolor paints and brushes and paper


Asch, Frank. The Earth And I. New York, NY: Scholastic, 1994: ISBN: 0-590-89752-7


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Display a globe or map of the world and say, "What do people mean when they say, 'It's a small world.'? Discuss: While the world is large, we are all connected, and that makes the world seem small. "Sing together the song, It’s a Small World. You can find music and lyrics online. 

  2. Discuss:

    • What do the lyrics mean, “a world of laughter, tears, hopes, and fears”?
    • What does it mean that it is a small world afterall?

    Reflect and discuss how everyone who lives on the earth, the animals, plants, and everything all share the world. We're in it together, and when something happens far away, it still impacts the earth we share. Because we all share the same Earth, we have a responsibility to all take care of the Earth. We call caring for something we're responsible for "stewardship."

  3. On the globe or map, point out mountainous  and desert regions of our world. Talk about how weather moves around the globe and we all share the oceans and sky. You may also point out how the oceans divide the continents. The purpose of the discussion is the idea that although we live in different places, do different things, and may look different, we all have the Earth as our home. We all share it. Together we are one world.

  4. Read the story, The Earth and I by Frank Asch to the class. The child in the story takes the reader on an exploration of what the Earth gives us and what we give the earth. After reading the story, brainstorm a list of ways to take care of the earth. Tell them that these are examples of stewardship (planting, raking, picking up trash).

  5. Frank Asch was not only the author for the story, but also the illustrator. Look back through the story and talk about the illustrations with the class. Watercolor was used to create the illustrations in this story.

    Give the learners tools to paint a picture, using watercolor paints to illustrate a way they could help take care of the earth. The teacher may choose to have the learners dictate a sentence or write their own sentence to describe the actions created in the picture. The finished products may be shared with others to inspire stewardship.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.3 Define stewardship and give examples.