Class Soup

K, 1, 2

In this activity that follows the model of the story of Stone Soup, we learn about a mindset that says "yes we can" rather than looking at what we don't have. We cooperate to solve a problem for the good of all. 

PrintTwo 45-Minute Sessions
  • use critical thinking skills with a growth mindset
  • combine limited resources to provide for everyone rather than thinking of cost to self
  • a can of vegetable soup
  • large clear bowl
  • hot plate or stove
  • a variety of vegetables brought from different households
  • knives for cutting vegetables, bowls and spoons for eating soup.
  • Optional but very helpful: a parent volunteer.
Home Connection 

Children bring in vegetables from home to make a class soup


Ross, Tony. Stone Soup. Dial, 1987. ISBN: 0140547088


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Hold up a can of soup and ask if it is enough to feed our whole group. Open it and pour it into a large, clear bowl. Ask children to name the vegetables in the soup. Say, "What could we do to make this soup feed all of us?" Listen to their ideas. 

  2. Read aloud the book or story Stone Soup. Notice that the villagers are only thinking of themselves and don't want to share. When they start thinking of the good of all, they find a good solution. Giving isn't about missing out or giving more or less than others; the end result is good for all.

    Make a plan to expand the can of soup by having everyone bring in one item. This will be a gift to the group. If they make a too big pot, they can share with others. Ask about what the children might have at home that matches what is in the can of soup (carrot, potato, boullion, tomato, herbs, and other veggies). Maybe some have a garden while others can't spare anything. Don't worry about some people bringing duplicates or others forgetting.

    Tell them what day you will be making the soup so they bring their vegetable by that day. 

  3. Soup Day

    Working sfely and sharing responsibilities, clean and cut up the ingredients. Put everything in a big pot and let it simmer. 

    Note: if they bring in too much, the extras can be shared with others. Discuss how their contributions can be shared - as they are or by making more soup. 

  4. Enjoy the soup together and talk about how it feels to contribute to something that is good for all. 

    Bonus: write up a recipe on chart paper and share it on social media. Include a statement by the children about the importance of cooperation for the good of all.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark E.3 Describe a benefit of group cooperation.
    2. Standard PCS 03. Philanthropy and Economics
      1. Benchmark E.13 Describe limited resources and scarcity.
    3. Standard PCS 07. Skills of Civic Engagement
      1. Benchmark E.2 Discuss an issue affecting the common good in the classroom or school and demonstrate respect and courtesy for differing opinions.