Traveling Back in Time
In this lesson, a picture books raises awareness of the importance of memories to the people of all ages that make up a community. The children learn the definition of philanthropy and identify an act of philanthropy in the literature book Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge.
The learner will:
- reflect on the value of memories.
- define philanthropy as the giving or sharing of time, talent or treasure for the common good.
- read-aloud copy of Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge (see Bibliography)
- copies to send home of handout: Recalling Memories
Call a local retirement community to inquire about establishing an ongoing intergenerational relationship with letter writing and personal meetings, if possible. Ideally, the seniors tell the children a story from their memories about their contributions to the good of all, such as volunteer work.
Have discussions about memories and talk about objects that spark memories in their own homes.
- Fox, Mem. Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge. New York: Kane/Miller Book Publishers, 1985. ISBN: 0916291049
Ask the children if they have grandparents, great-grandparents, or friends who are seniors. Discuss their ideas about some of the traits of seniors (loving, forgetful, retired). Ask, "What are some kind or helpful things they do (or that you do for them)?" Take note of any words like, give, donate, volunteer, and help that show the generosity of the seniors in their lives.
Read Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge, by Mem Fox, aloud to the whole group. Ask the children to listen for the kind act (philanthropy) of Wilfrid. After reading, define philanthropy as "giving time, talent or treasure for the good of all." Discuss: What did Wilfrid share, and why was her "gift" good for the community?
Ask the children to recall while you write down the five definitions of a memory that assisted in helping find Miss Nancy’s memory (something warm, something from long ago, something that makes you cry, something that makes you laugh and something as precious as gold).
Have a discussion about the importance of memories to people of all ages. What memories are related to volunteering and philanthropy, or our connection to the larger community?
Tell the children that they, like Wilfrid, are going to give their time and talent and develop friendships at a senior community. Talk about why listening to stories, playing games, and writing letters can be a gift to the seniors:
- Asking someone from a different generation to share their memories with us shows them we care.
- We are helping them pass on their values and traditions.
- It shows respect for our elders.
- We all become more connected to our community.
Children talk at home about family memories. They may find one item at home that fits one of the definitions of memory (from the book) and bring it to school to share and tell. It can also be used as an ice breaker when they meet their senior friend. See handout: Recalling Memories.
Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
Benchmark E.1 Define philanthropy as the giving and sharing of time, talent, or treasure intended for the common good.
Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
Standard PCS 02. Diverse Cultures
Benchmark E.4 Demonstrate listening skills.
Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
Benchmark E.4 Give an example of how citizens act for the common good.