Learning to Give, Philanthropy education resources that teach giving and civic engagement

Making the World a More Beautiful Place (Kindergarten)
Lesson 1
Academic Standards
Philanthropy Framework

Focus Question(s):

What is each person's responsibility for environmental stewardship?

NOTE: Prior to this lesson, use the Blue Sky Activity in which students envision a better world.  If you already have a Blue Sky display, revisit it before beginning this lesson.


Responding to the story Miss Rumphius, a book that illustrates how responsible citizens participate constructively in maintaining and enhancing the environment, the learners will understand that being a steward of the environment involves choice, commitment and inspiration.


One 30 Minute Class Period


The learner will:

  • identify and describe the behaviors of the characters.
  • define philanthropy.
  • describe how the people can work to make the world a better or more beautiful place.

Service Experience:

Although this lesson contains a service project example, decisions about service plans and implementation should be made by students, as age appropriate.
Learn more about the stages of service-learning.

Students can design and carry out a plan to make the world a more beautiful place.  Ideas include cleaning up a park, planting flowers, and organizing a recycling effort.



  • Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney (see Bibliographical References)
  • Journals or paper

Instructional Procedure(s):

Anticipatory Set:

Ask students if they can think of anything they can do that would make their school, home, or community a more beautiful place.  Write down student ideas and save them.  Then tell the students you are going to read a story about a woman who made the world a more beautiful place.  Read Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney. 

  • Read the book to the class.  Point to key picture items.

  • On selected pages, stop and encourage children to interact with the book in the following ways:

    • Identify key items in the pictures that will aid in listening comprehension.

    • Hypothesize about what may happen next, what motives of the characters might be, and why something is happening.

    • Label the feelings of the characters.

  • Discuss how Miss Rumphius was working alone, but as a member of a communityWhat community job did she hold?  How did she help people?  When she traveled, did she become part of other communities?

  • Ask the students if anyone in the story is acting like a philanthropist based on the definition that a philanthropist shares time, talent, or treasure for the common good.

  • Ask the students to share ideas of how they could give time, talent or treasure to enhance or preserve the environment.  Support the discussion with suggestions if necessary. Ask students to draw a picture of themselves making a small part of the world a better place.  They may refer to the list generated before the story.  Ask them to think about whether they are sharing time, talent, or treasure in their drawings.

Learning Link(s): (click to view)

Reflection: (click to view)

Bibliographical References:

  • Cooney, Barbara.  Miss Rumphius.  New York: Viking Penguin, 1982.  ISBN: 0140505393.
  • International Child Art Foundation. http://www.icaf.org/about/ accessed 1.21.2011

Lesson Developed By:

Pamela McIntosh
Detroit Public Schools
Woodward Elementary School
Detroit, MI 48208


Philanthropy Framework:

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Unit Contents:

Overview:Making the World a More Beautiful Place (Kindergarten) Summary


Making the World a More Beautiful Place (Kindergarten)

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