Saturday, February 13, 2016


Learning to Give – 4th Grade Philanthropists

When you hear the word “philanthropy”, what comes to mind?  Take a minute to think about what the word means.  If you ask a 4th grader this question, responses often vary between “a type of college class” to “a type of plant” or “something scientific that a doctor uses”.  I look forward to teaching this lesson about citizenship each and every year.  One of my favorite observations during the lesson is hearing the students share their definitions with their peers, while also enjoying the challenge of pronouncing the word.  It definitely sparks their attention and curiosity.  The students also watch a brief video of adults being asked what the word means.  As the students watch the video, they begin to see that many adults are also unfamiliar with the word.  The video gives examples of philanthropy shown by citizens all around the world.  Afterwards, we read Uncle Jed’s Barbershop by Margaree King Mitchell.  The story illustrates and describes a variety of examples of philanthropy. It is about a character who uses his talents and time to do something kind for others.  Listening to this story allows the students to make connections and promotes a discussion of what the word truly means. As teachers, our goal is to constantly encourage our students to understand how their actions, positive or negative, can affect those around them.  Most of all, our hope is that they learn how to become positive leaders within their community.  Therefore, in an effort to show philanthropy, this past week, each 4th grade class was encouraged to participate in MIX 94.7’s Valentine’s Day Cards for Kids.  The students used their creative talents and time to create hand-made cards for children staying in area hospitals.  It was so wonderful to see the beautifully written poems, kind words, and pictures in each card that the students created.  Way to go future philanthropists! I know that each card will bring delightful smiles to many children’s faces!