GivingTuesday Smile

PreK, K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

We discuss the joy of giving, as well as various ways to give through doing kind acts for people in the community. We learn how #GivingTuesday is a day of giving that combines efforts with others around the world to make a big difference. Children follow their own interests to make someone smile and promote kindness as an instrument of change.

PrintOne 45-Minute Session, plus time for a project

The learner will

  • define philanthropy as giving time, talent, or treasure for the common good.
  • brainstorm things that make people smile.
  • plan a project for #GivingTuesday, an international day of giving. 
Teacher Preparation 

Determine how you will share stories about the children's acts of kindness. Be part of something bigger by using social media and adding #givingtuesdayspark and #MakeSomeoneSmile and @LearningtoGive to your stories of smiles.

  • philanthropy: giving time, talent, or treasure for the common good
  • GivingTuesday: an international day of giving, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving
Home Connection 

Ask your family about issues they care about. Who would they like to see smile?

  • How does it feel to make someone smile?
  • How did you decide what to do? Did you have to learn something before you could take action?
  • What do you think you'll do next to make a difference?


  1. Anticipatory Set

  2. Ask, "Do you know anybody who feels lonely or alone lately?" Discuss how it feels to be lonely. Discuss, "When you are lonely, what do you wish someone else could do for you?"

  3. Tell the children that we are going to give someone something special: we are going to make someone smile.

  4. Share this information: GivingTuesday is a global day of giving celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving every year. It’s a day when people focus on generosity after two shopping events: Black Friday and Cyber Monday. On this national day of giving, people around the world are talking about where they will give and encourage others to give.

  5. People learn about what others need on that day, and then they usually pick places to give donations. Many people use social media on that day to tell others to donate to their favorite organization. They add the hashtag #GivingTuesday so they are part of something bigger. 

  6. Discuss what a donation is and where people give, i.e., to a nonprofit organization that addresses needs.

  7. Say, "We can be part of something bigger for this year's GivingTuesday. We ALL have something to give: our time and talent." Tell them by giving their time, they are philanthropists. 

  8. Define the word philanthropist as someone who gives time, talent, or treasure for the common good. 

    • Brainstorm things that make us smile.
    • Discuss people who need a smile. 
  9. We are going to take part in #GivingTuesday! How can you give your time, talent, or treasure to brighten someone's day?

  10. Example ways to Make Someone Smile:

    • Call someone on the phone who will smile to hear your voice.
    • Write a note of kindness and cheer to someone at a retirement or veteran's home.
    • Ask a non-profit organization in your community what you can do to support their mission.
    • Pick up paper bags from a local grocery store and decorate with cheery messages, then bring them back to the store or a food pantry to be used for customers.
    • Write a message on a "Doodle Stone" and hide it outside for someone to find.
  11. Each child chooses one way to use their time and talent to make someone smile.

  12. Since #GivingTuesday is a social event, tell about the SMILES on social media: @LearningtoGive #GivingTuesday #MakeSomeoneSmile