What Can We Do to Help Others?

3, 4, 5

The class will review the list of possible service projects from the previous lesson and those that they gathered with their families. After working in small groups, they will narrow the list to one or two projects through consensus. The teacher will explain that there are organizations that can help fund service projects. Letters (or a phone call) will be written to invite a local Community Foundation Youth Advisory Committee member to the classroom to explain their purpose.

Note to the teacher: Community Foundation Youth Advisory Committees exist to establish youth as philanthropists, and to build permanent and growing funds within each community to meet local youth needs. They support youth as valuable resources and decision-makers in communities, and establish important statewide ties to service, volunteerism, philanthropy, and service-learning. There are Youth Advisory Committees in most areas. You can find a list on the Internet by searching under “Community Foundation Youth Advisory Committees.”

Lesson Rating 
PrintOne Forty-Five Minute Lesson
The learners will:
  • review with the class the list of service projects from the previous lesson
  • share research that he/she gathered at home.
  • discuss the options with the class and narrow the list to one or two that are feasible for the age level.
  • work with the class to determine the steps, necessary to complete the project.
  • Chart paper
  • Markers
  • Computer with internet link (Optional)


  1. Anticipatory Set: Ask the class to look at and discuss the options for possible projects on their lists from the previous lesson. Ask students to report the results of the research that they did with their families. (See Attachment Two: Lesson One) Discuss the options asking the students their preferences and reasons for them. The teacher should list these on chart paper.

  2. Divide the class into groups of 4. Ask them to work together to discuss and select the 3 or 4 ideas they like the best.
  3. Ask each group to report their preferences.
  4. After further discussion about the feasibility of each of the project, vote or come to consensus on 1 or 2 projects to pursue. The teacher should record these on chart paper.
  5. Work with the class to determine the steps necessary to complete the project. The teacher may want to obtain a copy of a grant proposal form from a Youth Advisory Committee in advance which might be helpful in giving an idea of what needs to be included in a budget. The teacher should record these on chart paper. At this point it may become obvious that funds may be needed in order to carry out the plan, if not, probe the students to see if they realize that they may need some money for this project.
  6. Explain to the students that there are organizations that provide funds that help people with philanthropic projects.
  7. Ask the students if they would like to have someone come to tell them how they might get the money they need.
  8. Letters can be written or in the lower grades, the teacher may wish to call the local Community Foundation Youth Advisory Committee to invite a representative to the classroom to present information about the committee and it’s purpose. (See bibliography for a web site which lists Michigan Youth Advisory Committees)
  9. Close by telling the class that as philanthropists they are doing important work for the common good.
Teacher observation of the students’ contributions during their discussions.

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. Standard DP 04. Operational Characteristics of Nonprofit Organizations
      1. Benchmark E.3 Describe how a volunteer youth club in the community operates.