Cans Make a Difference

Grades: 
3, 4, 5

Students write to pen pals in a different community and discuss ideas related to a service project. For example, the pen pals may plan and monitor a canned-good donation project.

Lesson Rating 
0
Duration 
PrintTwo Forty-Five Minute Class Periods (plus a collection time)
Objectives 

The learner will:

  • define philanthropy as the giving and sharing of time, talent or treasure for the common good.
  • identify local charitable organizations and their needs and plan a service-learning project with pen pals.
  • communicate with pen pals about the progress of the service project.
Materials 
Home Connection 

Prior to this lesson, give a homework assignment to the students in which they research what charitable organizations they have associated with in their lives, what non-profit organizations their families support and what organizations they have heard about. They should bring their brainstormed list to class on this day and refer to it as they discuss possible projects for their service project.

Instructions

Print
  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Suggestions for the Synchronous Online Classroom - 

    Use video conferencing chat rooms for brainstorming in order to increase student engagement.

    Suggestions for the Asynchronous Online Classroom - 

    • In your Learning Management System, assign students the video on philanthropy from Learning to Give.
    • In your Learning Management System, assign either a question or blog post for students to reflect on what charitable organizations in their community that are serving the common good.  Encourage students to talk with their families or homework helpers to generate ideas.
  2. Prior to this lesson, give a homework assignment to the students in which they research what charitable organizations have helped them in their lives, what non-profit organizations their families support, and what organizations they have heard about. They should bring their brainstormed list to class on this day and refer to it as they discuss possible projects for their service project.

  3. Brainstorm with the class, the ways that they can give time, talent or treasure for the common good. Send the brainstormed list to the pen pal classroom so they can add to the list and star the items that sound like possible projects to them. In Lesson Three: Long-Distance Service, the students will get the response from the pen pals and plan the project. (Each class might independently choose to do any of the brainstormed project, but for the purpose of pen pal sharing, both schools will do the same project)

  4. The two classes can determine a project and share the progress through data collection. In their letters they look at the statistics gathered and arguments made to refine the project and share in success. 

  5. Each community will need to locate an organization with which to work.

  6. When they have reached their goal collectively, they can celebrate. Take pictures of the celebration and send the photos to the pen pals.

Assessment 

Monitor student collection techniques, data organization, research accuracy and communication skills in their letter-writing.

Cross Curriculum 

Classes in the pen pal relationship work together to collect enough canned items to equal or surpass the weight of an agreed-upon animal.

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 03. Names and Types of Organizations within the Civil Society Sector
      1. Benchmark E.2 Name an example of a civil society charitable organization.
  2. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 01. Needs Assessment
      1. Benchmark E.1 Identify a need in the school, local community, state, nation, or world.
    2. Standard VS 03. Providing Service
      1. Benchmark E.1 Provide a needed service.