Learning Opportunities around the World

K, 1, 2

Through discussion and a game, children identify the value of education to individuals and the community.

PrintOne 45-Minute Session

The learner will:

  • state positive outcomes of school benefitting self and community.
  • play “Community I Spy” with the added element of naming things in the program’s community that they value.
  • reflect on common resources and behaviors important to the school community.
  • Handout is for educator background information.
  • Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes (optional)
  • community: a group of people that live, work, or play together, who have common interests, or who regularly interact with one another
  • family: parents and their children; the members of a household

Henkes, Kevin. Chrysanthemum. Mulberry Books, 1996. ISBN: 978-0688147327


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Explain to children that in the United States, public school is funded through the government and all children must go. Ask the children to raise their hands if they feel lucky to go to school. Ask them to raise their hands if they feel sometimes that school is hard and wish they didn't have to go.

  2. Tell children that in many countries school is very expensive, and a family might be able to send only one child or no children at all. Explain to children that education helps people be happy, healthy members of our society, and that students with a good education go on to get good jobs, to contribute to their communities, and to help the world at large. Let them know that the education they are receiving now might be one of the most valuable things they ever receive. Discuss.

  3. Ask children if it is fair that some children cannot go to school. Why or why not?What feelings would you have if only one child in your family could go to school?(Think about how you feel for yourself, your family, and your community if only one child per family can go.)

  4. Brainstorm some things that people can do in life because they learn the skills at school; things that help them do well in life and things that help the community do well. Examples include read the newspaper, solve problems, get along with others, count money, and read to learn.

  5. Play Community I-Spy. Explain to children that school is a type of community where students participate in activities together and share "common" resources. Have students select items for I-Spy that are shared by all and help the school community learn and work together. For example, a book, the whiteboard, the school bell, or a pencil.One child starts the game by saying,“I spy (name one attribute of an object in the room).” The other students try to guess what the object is and identify how it is a part of the school "commons." When they guess the object, another student selects a different object for the class to discover.

  6. Prompt the participants with these questions:

    • What things in this room are part of the school community?
    • How does (name of object) make our school community a good place to learn?
    • Does every school community need (name of object) to be a good place to learn?
  7. To further the discussion and deepen students' understanding of this exercise, ask:

    • What would happen if we didn’t have these things?
    • Could we still learn?
    • What classroom behaviors help our community? How and why?
    • Is our school a community because we share resources? Why or why not?

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 03. Philanthropy and Economics
      1. Benchmark E.9 Identify the "commons" in the school and neighborhood.
    2. Standard PCS 05. Philanthropy and Government
      1. Benchmark E.1 Define community as the degree that people come together for the common good.
      2. Benchmark E.7 Describe why the classroom, school, or neighborhood is a community governed by fundamental democratic principles.
      3. Benchmark E.8 Describe classroom behaviors that help the students learn.