Our Classroom—The Community of Fun

K, 1, 2

In his lesson, students participate in fun activities with their other classmates, showing that trust, collaboration, and good attitudes are part of fun group activities.

Lesson Rating 
PrintOne Thirty-Five Minute Class Period

The learner will:

  • identify why trust is important to a community.
  • explain what is meant by a common resource.
  • compare and contrast how the community functions when rules are followed or not followed.
  • A parachute large enough to have all of your students participate. Check with the P.E. Department for a parachute or order one from www.cptoys.com.
  • Soft balls to bounce on the top
  • Heine, Helme. Friends. New York: Aladdin Paperbacks, 1997. ISBN: 0689710836.
  • Hutchins, Pat. The Doorbell Rang. New York: Mulberry Paperbacks, 1989. ISBN: 0688092349.
  • Wilmes, Liz and Dick. Parachute Play: for Indoor/Outdoor Fun. Illinois: Building Blocks, 1985. ISBN: 0943452031.


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Have a box in the front of the room with the parachute hidden inside. Tell the students that the "something" in the box is NOT yours, it's not theirs, it is something that is a "common resource" in the classroom. Define "common." Ask the students to name some items that the whole class can use together that would be fun, but everyone has to work together.

  2. Have each student grab a side of the parachute and give directions for its use. Examples: Lift high in the sky, go as low as you can go, lift high and bring it behind you and sit down…count to see how long it will stay in the air, add the balls and play popcorn. See Bibliography for additional games.

  3. Predict and test what would happen if one child let go without anybody knowing. Then what would happen if four people let go? Would the parachute go up as high?

    1. Talk about the value of collaboration and trusting that the whole team will do their part. It is important to trust our friends at school when we are playing games together or working on a project together. It is for the common good that everyone has to do their part for the good of all. 
    2. Sometimes we don't feel like playing the game everyone else wants to play. Discuss things to do and say when we feel that way. Sometimes we put our own wishes aside and join in anyway; sometimes we step out and watch; and sometimes we ask the team to make a change. Discuss how and when to make those choices. 
    3. Name other games that we play as a class that require trust and working together for the good of all.
  4. Discuss what brings a group together:

    • "Sometimes teams all wear the same color shirt. Is it being alike that makes us belong?  
    • What are the things that make people feel like they belong to the class, or another group? 
    • Explain that people in a community often agree on some rules, and they trust that all the members will follow the rules. Brainstorm a list of the classroom rules (spoken and unspoken) that help everyone do better together. During the discussion, point out those ideas that promote caring for the "common good" in the classroom—toys, books, learning time, furniture, teacher time.
  5. Talk about what it would look like if the rules weren't kept or we couldn't trust others in the class. Then talk about what the classroom would look like if  everyone had the common good in mind (honesty, helping one another, following directions, looking out for some body else, not playing tricks on each other).

    On two halves of drawing paper, have students illustrate a classroom where rules and trust aren't respected and a classroom that respects the common good of everyone. 

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 02. Roles of Government, Business, and Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.3 Identify ways that trust is important in all communities.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 03. Philanthropy and Economics
      1. Benchmark E.7 Define and describe private property and common resources.