Getting Started with the Blue Sky Activity

Are you looking for a way to help your students think outside of the box? To consider community? To put others needs before their own?
Blue Sky is a visioning exercise that guides participants in identifying what they care about and imagining a better world. This activity is perfect for any K-12 classroom because participants are asked to take a look at their group, neighborhood, community, state, nation, and/or the world. How does it work? After a bit of thought, participants reflect on the way it is and then imagine the way they would like it to be. This activity encourages empathy, compassion, and self-expression. It also helps participants learn to react to a negative situation with a positive action. Try it out in your classroom today!
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Connecting service and learning to community needs: A Planning Tool 

Story Telling From Teachers Like You

Mr. Dikeman is a lead teacher and social action co-teacher at Decatur Central High School in Indianapolis, IN. Mr. Dikeman says, “teaching through service learning allows hands-on learning experiences to help students make connections between their school and their community." 

‘DC Students in Action’ was the name of a 2016-17 service-learning project funded in-part by a Learning to Give mini-grant. Mr. Dikeman used the ‘What Is Philanthropy’ and ‘Making a Difference in the World’ Learning to Give resources to support the project. Through DC Students In Action, 42 students were involved in diverse service ranging from supporting an animal shelter and the Indianapolis Humane society, distributing information about helping to prevent child abuse, volunteering with the high school’s food pantry, mentoring elementary students, facilitating a book drive, raising donations for Riley Children’s Hospital, supporting a shelter for battered women, working to increase skate parks with the local parks and recreation department, and seeking donations for the March of Dimes organization.

One student reflected, “I was able to actively be a part of a solution to a problem in my community. The pantry also helped me to realize how many people are going through hard times without showing anything.”

Ms. Found is a calculus teacher and faculty advisor for five clubs at Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, NH. She feels motivated to teach service and philanthropy because, “there is something very powerful in growing the hearts of young people."

“Helping Seniors with Technology" was the name and goal of a 2016-17 student service-learning project funded in part by a Learning to Give mini-grant. Ms. Found incorporated the ‘I Do My Part’ Learning to Give resource to prepare and inspire the students before, during, and after the project. The students worked the the seniors in technology training sessions at Sugar Hill Retirement Home. They traveled each Wednesday to meet with seniors in need of help, a student was paired up with a senior to help them use smartphones, tablets, or computers. Their CyberSeniors program has grown beyond technology instruction to a variety of programs Brewster will be holding at Sugar Hill such as Paint & Punch night, coffeehouses, a senior prom, the Walking Club, game night, etc. 

Throughout the project, students strengthened their inter-generational skills, and commented that they “learned about the importance of being patient, of explaining things slowly and to articulate well, to take the time to talk and get to know the senior they worked with.” 

Curriculum Planning Has Never Been So Simple!

Hot off the press!

These 2017-18 Learning to Give calendars inspire giving all year with mini-challenges for service and kindness, lesson ideas, TeachOne support, inspirational quotes, and more! 

Email your name and shipping address to and we'll send you one FREE calendar while supplies last! 



Support and Encouragement Online

Get the latest news, opportunities, and teacher articles on our Trending news page accessed from the top menu on every webpage. Like us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest to build rapport with teachers around the country, view more teacher stories, share lesson ideas, and gain inspiration. 

All our teacher-created materials are written and tested by teachers and peer reviewed for philanthropy content and then for fairness from diverse perspectives. Help make the content better for other users by rating lessons and adding your comments and adaptations to the comment section at the bottom of each lesson plan. 

Ease Into Philanthropy Education With TeachOne

Commit to TeachOne 4x a year and consider infusing more lessons throughout the year based on your classroom and community needs! 

The ease of planning lessons with Learning to Give

Learn from what other educators are doing and saying about philanthropy education and service-learning. Find motivation and ideas for infusing giving concepts into your teaching and guiding students in service-learning projects.

The Fisher Educator Mini-Courses provide online training in philanthropy education and service-learning. In your own time and at your desktop, learn methods of thoughtful service-learning, as well as the history, practice, and benefits of philanthropy, for educators, nonprofit professionals, parents, and volunteers.