Featured Lesson Plans

Looking for ideas for your service-learning projects?  generationOn's curriculum partner, Learning to Give, provides over 1,600 common core and state-standard aligned philanthropy education lesson plans to inspire K-12 educators.  Search LTG to educate students as philanthropists (people who give time, talent, and treasure for the common good), give a meaningful start to the service-learning process, and find lessons that infuse civic purpose into academic subjects.  

Check back each month to find lesson plans tailored to generationOn's monthly service themes.

August: Education & Literacy

Community Sharing (K-2)

This lesson is part of a literacy unit that teaches about the importance of community and giving. Students read and respond to the book The Rainbow Fish and think critically about sharing how giving brought more happiness to the Rainbow Fish and harmony to the whole community.

The Important Thing about Reading (3-5)

The purpose of this lesson is for students to develop awareness of why reading is important for everyone. Students will learn that some students do not have access to books in the same way they do and will decide how they can take action to ensure others have access to books.

Reading to Elementary Children (6-8)

Learners will increase their reading fluency and awareness of philanthropy by reading to younger children.

Literacy for All (9-12)

The purpose of this lesson is for students to learn about literacy in our world, nation, state and their local community. Students reflect on dramatic statistics about literacy rates and access to books, then they create a plan of action to increase access to reading materials.


July: Animal Welfare

Pets Have Needs Too (K-2)

This lesson is based on key terms and vocabulary dealing with animal welfare  and animal care.  Concepts will be defined and discussed in a whole group setting.  Learners will compare their own needs to a pet's needs.

All In a Day's Work (3-5)

As part of a small group, the students select and research a specific working animal. They create an informational presentation (poster or computer software) about their findings. Learners discover the impact that these animals have on the greater good of communities.

What's Being Done? (6-8)

In this lesson the learners will identify state and national laws that  provide for the humane treatment of animals. They will share their findings concerning the laws that regulate the use and treatment of animals and grow in their understanding of and appreciation for the role of advocacy in promoting change. They will write essays or letters advocating for animal welfare.

Looking Into Careers: Doing What I Like and Liking What I Do (9-12)

This lesson helps learners explore career decision-making based on the importance of job satisfaction, and to consider career options that help them make choices to best use their time and talents.  Learners will identify why people make career decisions and how "being of service," especially related to animal welfare, might lead to job satisfaction.


June: Health & Wellness

Helping People Who Are Hungry (K-2) 

Students read a story about the making of Stone Soup. Through the story, they learn about the concept of working together for the common good. They brainstorm and choose an idea for a service project related to hunger and health. They work together for the common good on their selected project.

Food Insecurity (3-5)

Students define food insecurity and scarcity of resources. They use problem-solving to share a scarce resource. Students work in groups to discuss how to be good caretakers of scare resources, such as food, water, and fuel. Then they discuss how these choices affect global issues.

What Is a Healthy Diet? (6-8)

In this lesson, students examine their typical diet for 24 hours. They analyze the nutritional content and discuss why diets differ by culture, region, and economics.

What Do People Around the World Eat? (9-12)

Students view images of families around the world and the food they eat in a week. They examine the similarities and differences in relation to different attributes, such as type of food, nutrition, cost, and quantity. Discussions of stereotype and diversity help students gain sensitivity to the strengths and needs of different people around the world.


May: Senior Citizens

Poetry for the Common Good (K-2) 

Students find poetry everywhere: lyrics to songs, commercials and rap. They identify philanthropic themes found in poetry. Students also write poems with philanthropic themes. Sharing their poems with senior citizens is an act of philanthropy.

The Joy of Friends (3-5)

This lesson guides students to pursue an intergenerational friendship. Through literature, students also recognize the joy of sharing time, talent, and/or treasure--something kind and unexpected-with people about whom they care. Through literature students recognize the richness of developing friendships with people of a different generation. They also discuss making false assumptions from first impressions.

Who Wants to Be an Octogenarian? (6-8)

Learners create a questionnaire as a needs assessment tool to determine the roles of senior citizens in their community during World War II. Learners interview the seniors at a local seniors' residence to obtain primary source information. Compiled information will be presented with presentation software and written accounts of residents' remembrances of World War II.

Time Traveler: Intergenerational Interviews (9-12)

Students study and create oral histories of people who have experienced previous events in history and share this knowledge with others. Focus questions: What can we learn about history by listening to the stories of others? How have others demonstrated service for the common good?


April: Environment

Beneficial Bees (All Grades)

Students explore bees as pollinators and learn about reasons their population numbers have been declining in recent years.

Lunchroom Recycling Plan (All Grades)

Learn about the types of materials that can be recycled and how to reduce waste in the school lunchroom.  

Community Clean-Up (All Grades)

Students learn about the goals of Earth Day and identify areas in town that need clean-up or planting.

Quiet Contamination of our Waters (All Grades)

Students learn about the toxic ingredients in personal care products. 

For more resources related to these lessons, the environment and Earth Day, visit learningtogive.com/teachone.


More Lesson Plans

For lesson plans from previous months and subjects, visit the links below:

Human Rights & Equality (February 2017)

Youth Changemakers/Martin Luther King (January 2017)

Be a Joymaker (December)

Military & Veterans (November)

Bullying Prevention (October)

Kindness (September 2016)

Education & Literacy (August)

Health & Wellness (July)

Animal Welfare (June)

Senior Citizens (May 2016)

Environment - Water (April 2016)

Hunger (March 2016)

Literacy (February 2016)

Human Rights and Social Justice (January 2016)

Homelessness and Poverty (December 2015, March 2017)

Emergency Preparedness and Response (September 2015)

Teaching philanthropy (private citizen action for the common good) is central to the mission of schools and critical to the survival of our democracy. We teach students that they are part of something bigger than themselves. They learn why citizens contribute to the greater good and why students have the same responsibility.

For more academic service-learning lesson plans infused with philanthropy education, search the Learning to Give lesson database by grade-level, academic area, standards, and topics.