Our Class, Our Earth

K, 1, 2, 3

Children gain a feeling of ownership and responsibility for the care of the environment in their school and community.

PrintOne 30-minute session

The learner will:

  • define the terms philanthropy and recycle.
  • "clean" trash items to mess up the room - scrap paper, cups, wrappers, empty bottles and cups
  • copy of the book The Wartville Wizard by Don Madden
  • Madden, Don. The Wartville Wizard. Aladdin, 1993. ISBN: 0689716672.


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    When the children enter their familiar shared environment, they find it littered with "trash" by some unknown person. Allow time for them to react to the mess in the place they share and have some ownership in.

  2. Guide a discussion: How do you feel about someone making a mess in our space? Why do you feel that way? Would it bother you if this mess was in someone else's space

  3. Read aloud the book The Wartville Wizard by Don Madden Tell them Wartville has a problem similar to theirs - a mess. Tell them to listen for how the main character solves the problem in the story.

  4. After reading, ask the following questions: What magic was used? What does the word slob mean? What does the author mean by "Your trash has come home to you"? What do you think the term recycle means?

  5. Talk about how the author feels about trash. Relate this to how they feel about trash in their space and outside the building, around their homes, and in the community.

  6. Review the definition of a philanthropist (a person who gives time, talent, or treasure or takes action for the common good) and discuss whether the wizard was a philanthropist. What action in the story was taken for the common good of the community?

  7. Their first action as philanthropists will be to clean up the mess in the room by sorting the materials so that some of it can be recycled. Discuss the rules of recycling as they all pick up the trash and sort the items into the assigned containers.

  8. Talk about next steps. What other shared areas need clean-up? Organize a clean-up project and involve other community members. 

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 02. Roles of Government, Business, and Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.6 Explain why acting philanthropically is good for the community, state, nation, or world.