What Are Our Talents?

Grades: 
K, 1, 2

Students will see an example of philanthropy in Native American culture in literature. They will then analyze their own special gifts or talents and determine how the family can gain from them.

Lesson Rating 
0
Duration 
PrintOne Forty-Five Minute Class Period
Objectives 

The learner will:

  • define "talent."
  • explain how a talent can be used to help others.
  • illustrate his/her own special gift or talent.
Materials 
  • The Legend of Indian Paintbrush by Tomie dePaola (see Bibliographic References)
  • Drawing paper
  • Pencils, crayons or markers
  • Philanthropy: Using Our Talents for the Common Good (Attachment One)
Home Connection 

Students could be asked to discuss their own talents with their families. They can think of ways that their talents could be used to help others in their family. This could be sent home in the form of a letter. See Philanthropy: Using Our Talents for the Common Good (Attachment One).

Bibliography 

dePaola, Tomie. The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush. New York: Scholastic, Inc., 1996. ISBN: 0698113608

Instructions

Print
  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Write the word "talent" on the board. Ask the students what it means (the gift or special ability of a person). Ask the students what "gift" means (the talent or special ability of a person). Explain that the word "gift" can sometimes be another word for talent.

  2. Introduce The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush. Tell the class that the story is about a Native American boy, Little Gopher, who has a special "gift" or "talent" that he shares with his "People." Explain that it is often the custom of Native Americans to refer to themselves as "the People" as they will hear in this story.

    • Set a listening purpose. Have children listen to find out how the boy shares his special "gift" or "talent" with his people.
    • Read the story to the students. During the story, stop and check for understanding of "path," "Dream-Vision," "shaman" and "longed."
    • Lead a discussion of the following questions:
      • How was the boy different from the other children?
      • What did the shaman tell the boy?
      • What did Little Gopher learn in his Dream-Vision?
      • What did the pictures that he painted do for his people?
      • Why was Little Gopher unhappy with his colors?
      • What did Little Gopher do to try harder?
      • What was his special gift to his people?
    • Conclude that we all have talents that we can share and use to help others. When we give or share our time, talent, or treasure for others (for the common good) this is known as "philanthropy." Ask each student to think of a special talent he or she has. Allow students to share these with the class.
    • Ask each student to draw a picture and to write a sentence that explains his or her special talent and how it can be used to help others.
  3. Set a listening purpose. Have children listen to find out how the boy shares his special "gift" or "talent" with his people.

  4. Read the story to the students. During the story, stop and check for understanding of "path," "Dream-Vision," "shaman" and "longed."

  5. Lead a discussion of the following questions:

    • How was the boy different from the other children?
    • What did the shaman tell the boy?
    • What did Little Gopher learn in his Dream-Vision?
    • What did the pictures that he painted do for his people?
    • Why was Little Gopher unhappy with his colors?
    • What did Little Gopher do to try harder?
    • What was his special gift to his people?
  6. Conclude that we all have talents that we can share and use to help others. When we give or share our time, talent, or treasure for others (for the common good) this is known as "philanthropy." Ask each student to think of a special talent he or she has. Allow students to share these with the class.

  7. Ask each student to draw a picture and to write a sentence that explains his or her special talent and how it can be used to help others.

Assessment 

Teacher observation of student participation in the discussions. Grade project according to scoring guide which follows: Points Scoring Rubric: 4 One picture that shows a special talent being used to help others, and one sentence that states a special talent and how it is used to help others. 3 One picture that shows a special talent being used to help others, and one sentence that states a special talent but does not explain how it is used to help others. 2 One picture that shows a special talent being used to help others, but no sentence. 2 One sentence that states a special talent and how it is used to help others, but no picture. 1 One sentence that states a special talent but does not include how it is used to help others, and no picture. 1 One picture that shows a special talent, but not how it is used to help others and no sentence. 0 No picture and no sentence.

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. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 07. Skills of Civic Engagement
      1. Benchmark E.4 Analyze information to differentiate fact from opinion based on the investigation of issues related to the common good.