Impact of Giving (9-12)
In this one period lesson, learners investigate local and global hunger issues, and learn about nonprofits in the community. Through interviews, research, and videos, students create visual representations of facts and issues related to hunger. Students examine root causes and effects, and learn about the Sustainable Development Goals and #GivingTuesday. As a service project, they organize an event, such as a volunteer fair or game-a-thon, and raise awareness of the issue or of giving opportunities.
The learners will...
- conduct interviews and research focused on hunger issues.
- discuss the impact of giving on self and others.
- evaluate #GivingTuesday and ways people can make a difference with time, talent, or treasure.
- facilitate a volunteer fair or event to raise awareness of ways to address hunger and poverty.
- Teacher copy of Here We Go: A Poetry Friday Power Book (poems and writing activities about social change)
- Maddi's Fridge by Louis Brandt or A Shelter in our Car by Monica Gunning (optional)
- copy of the PowerPoint slide show to facilitate this lesson (below)
- computers for research and PowerPoint creation (older students)
- supplies for graphs (younger students)
- Use the attached PowerPoint to guide classroom discussion.
- Invite a speaker to the class to talk about free and reduced lunch (principal), the SNAP program, or the work of a local nonprofit.
- The Learning to Give toolkit about hunger and homelessness provides links to resources and project ideas.
- food insecurity: The state of being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food
- SNAP: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (a government program to help people who are eligible to receive sufficient food for good health)
- Global Goals: The 17 Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations to provide vision and leadership for individuals, organizations, and nations to make a systematic difference on the 17 critical issues that impact the common good globally.
Students visually represent the facts they learned and write a paragraph reflection about what they learned and what they did and plan to do to make a difference.
- Students create color graphs to represent the information found through the research and interviews.
- Students write a blog or social media post celebrating the impact they made.
Adapt this one-period lesson plan for any grade level and follow it with a simple and powerful service project on Giving Tuesday. The reflection brings learning and service impact together.
Anticipatory Set: (10 minutes) Give a brief introduction to the Global Sustainable Development Goals. Ask the students if they want to do something to help this effort, especially about hunger.
Write this quote on board: “The world’s hunger is getting ridiculous. There is more fruit in a rich man’s shampoo than on a poor man’s plate.” - Asad Bashir Khan
- What does this quote make you think?
- If there is enough food in the world, what are meaningful things to do to make a real difference?
- What is it like to take action for the common good? What are the benefits to the giver and receiver?
Part One: (5-10 minutes) Understanding hunger
For younger students, read aloud one of the following books: Maddi’s Fridge by Lois Brandt or A Shelter in Our Car by Monica Gunning.
For older students, watch the video Rethinking Zero about attaining zero hunger in the world - a goal set in the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Discuss the strategies suggested and what individuals and organizations can do.
- Discuss what it is like to experience hunger.
- What are the effects on our bodies, minds, and attitudes when we don't get enough to eat for a day? What if every day was like that?
- What can we do?
Part Two: (20 minutes) What is the issue of hunger in our community and what steps are the government and nonprofit organizations taking to combat the issue/s?
- Draw a tree outline on the board. Write "hunger/poverty" in the trunk. Brainstorm with the students "root causes" of hunger and poverty. Write their ideas in the roots of the tree outline. Brainstorm the "effects" of hunger on young people, and write these effects in the branches of the trees.
- Next to the tree, brainstorm a list of organizations (government and nonprofit) who help address hunger and poverty. The students may look these up on the Internet. Make sure there are local organizations on the list.
Optional: Students conduct research about hunger and poverty locally using one of the following methods.
- Ask the principal to share data and information about the free/reduced lunch in the school.
- Students research the percentage of SNAP (nutrition support) recipients in the community or state.
- Invite a speaker to the class from a local nonprofit to talk about the issue of hunger in the community and what they do.
Part Three: (20 minutes) What is real change? Students learn about how nonprofits and individuals together address the issue of hunger. The Learning to Give toolkit about hunger and homelessness provides links to resources and project ideas.
Learn more together about #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. Following the two major shopping days of consumerism, Black Friday and CyberMonday, GivingTuesday is one of the biggest giving days of the year. It is a day people give their time, talent, or treasure to the causes they care about. People creatively use social media to tell their friends to support the causes they care about. Explore some of the many creative ideas at www.givingtuesday.org
Discuss what these quotes mean and share stories of how giving feels and its impact:
- "The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in service to others."
- "A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never see." - Greek proverb
Discuss with students what they like about #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving.
In preparation for #GivingTuesday, the students learn about the nonprofits (brainstormed above) that address hunger.
Elementary: Work together to learn about one nonprofit. Design a poster with hunger facts and information about the nonprofit's work and how people can help.
Middle and High School: Students choose which nonprofit they want to research and share [on social media] what they learned to encourage others to help address the issue.
- What is the name of the nonprofit?
- What is their mission?
- What help do they need to meet their mission?
- What evidence tells you this is a good organization to help?
Project Overview: Invite representatives from local nonprofits to a volunteer fair to share what they do, what they need, and volunteer opportunities (direct help, collection drive, or advocacy). Alternative: choose one nonprofit from the student research and hold a game-a-thon (or dance-a-thon, jump-a-thon, etc.) to raise money for the nonprofit's work.
Procedure (led by students, wherever possible):
- Determine a day to hold the event close to #GivingTuesday.
- Get permission to use a school room for the event.
- Make posters/send home flyers advertising a school-wide event to be held for students and families in the community. If it is a _____-a-thon, give all participating students forms and time to collect pledges.
- Invite nonprofits to set up tables at the event to share what they do and how people can help.
- Gather supplies needed to make the event a success.
- Each day leading to the event, read statistics on hunger over the P.A. system.
- Hold the event.
- Collect funds or non-perishable food items and donate to a local nonprofit.
- Reflect on the event. Did people learn about hunger? Did they choose to support nonprofits?
Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
Standard DP 03. Names and Types of Organizations within the Civil Society Sector
Benchmark MS.2 Discuss examples of civil society organizations from a list of categories of organizations.
Benchmark E.2 Name an example of a civil society charitable organization.
Benchmark HS.2 Provide an example of an organization (or a service that it contributes) from a list of categories of civil society organizations.
Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
Standard PCS 02. Diverse Cultures
Benchmark MS.3 Give an example of how philanthropy can transcend cultures.
Standard PCS 07. Skills of Civic Engagement
Benchmark E.1 Explore and research issues and present solutions using communication tools.
Benchmark MS.1 Identify and research public or social issues in the community, nation or the world related to the common good. Form an opinion, and develop and present a persuasive argument using communication tools.
Benchmark HS.1 Utilize the persuasive power of written or oral communication as an instrument of change in the community, nation or the world.
Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
Standard VS 01. Needs Assessment
Benchmark HS.1 Identify a need in the school, local community, state, nation, or world.
Benchmark HS.2 Research the need in the school, neighborhood, local community, state, nation, or world.
Standard VS 02. Service and Learning
Benchmark HS.1 Select a service project based on interests, abilities, and research.