What's the Big Idea?

K, 1, 2

Students will decide on a service-learning project and create posters to advertise the event.

Lesson Rating 
PrintTwo Forty-Five Minute Class Periods

The learner will:

  • respond to visual text, If God Gives You Lemons.
  • work with a group to create an informative poster to advertise lemonade sale.
  • decorate posters with geometric patterns.
  • determine best locations to display advertisements.
  • Video If God Gives You Lemons by Gregory Siers 
  • Large white poster board or construction paper for each child
  • Crayons or markers
  • Alex and the Amazing Lemonade Stand by Liz Scott, Alex Scott and Jay Scott
  • Student journals

Scott, Jay, Liz Scott and Alex Scott. Alex and the Amazing Lemonade Stand. Paje Publishing Co., 2004. ISBN: 0975320009.

Siers, Gregory. If God Gives You Lemons. Introspect Pictures, 1998. 


  1. Day One:

    Anticipatory Set:

    Sing the song from lesson two of this unit, "What is a Philanthropist?" Repeat this two times, allowing the students to sing the definition.

  2. Ask the students if they have been philanthropists. Allow students time to respond. If the response is overwhelming, students may respond in small groups to allow the chance for everyone to share.

  3. Introduce the 10-minute video, If God Gives You Lemons. This is a video about a boy who really wanted a bike. He decided to sell lemonade in the big city. What happens there will surprise him ... and you.

    Note: While this film doesn't have the best sound quality, the message is worth the viewing. The making of the video is a student project, an example of his philanthropy to share time and talent to promote good will. 

  4. Watch the video, stopping to check for understanding a couple times. Talk about the setting, the characters and the problems in the video. Note when the boy is being a philanthropist by sharing his lemonade, and why he makes that choice. Discuss the following questions: 

    1. Did it look like the boy had enough money to buy his bike?
    2. Will he be able to buy his bike after his act of philanthropy?
    3. How do you think that made him feel?
    4. Why wouldn’t he be sad that he couldn’t buy his bike?
    5. How do you think the man in the street felt before the boy helped him?
    6. How do you think he feels now?
  5. Talk about how the class could use a lemonade stand to raise money for a local need. Tell the students that some lemonade stands raise money for a family with a sick child. Discuss what they could they raise money for.

    Note: it may take time to decide their cause. If the teacher decides, make sure students understand the need and why it was chosen.

  6. Introduce the story, Alex and the Amazing Lemonade Stand. Look at the Alex's Lemonade Stand website that tells the story of Alexandra Scott. She was a young girl who was fighting a battle with cancer and was able to raise money to help her parents pay for her treatments as well as pay for cancer research. She reached a goal of $1 million dollars before she passed away in the summer of 2004. 

  7. Choose a time and a date for the lemonade sale, and start making lists of what is needed. 

  8. Have students each design a poster for the lemonade stand. The poster should include language that attracts people to the stand, gives the cost of the cup of lemonade, and explains where the profits go. 

    Lead the class in a whole group discussion to put the important details on the board of the necessary information for the sale (title, date, time, place, cost, how the profits will benefit the cause).

  9. Students decide on locations to display their posters at school and in community locations to advertise their sale.

  10. Help students display their posters and encourage them to talk about the lemonade stand and spread the word to advertise.

Cross Curriculum 

Students will identify a community need. Students should come to a consensus on which community need they would like to help meet. At the end of the unit, they will need to deliver the money to the recipient.

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. Benchmark E.4 Define and give examples of selfishness and selflessness.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark E.5 Identify one local citizen who has helped the community through giving and/or service.