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

Caring and Gratitude
Lesson 2
Academic Standards
Philanthropy Framework


In this lesson the learners discuss a quote about gratitude and consider the relationship between caring and gratitude.


One 20-minute lesson


The learner will:


  • discuss a quote about gratitude by Texan Matthew McConaughey.
  • investigate the relationship between caring and gratitude.
  • reflect on how gratitude may influence the causes and social issues they care about.

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.

This character education mini-lesson is not intended to be a service learning lesson or to meet the K-12 Service-Learning Standards for Quality Practice. The character education units will be most effective when taught in conjunction with a student-designed service project that provides a real world setting in which students can develop and practice good character and leadership skills.  For ideas and suggestions for organizing service events go to www.generationon.org.


Student lists of causes and social issues from Lesson One

Instructional Procedure(s):

Anticipatory Set:

Write this quote on a display area:

"Give thanks. Appreciate what you DO have…the more we give thanks, the more we receive to be thankful for. Gratitude is the gift that always gives back."
--Matthew McConaughey

  • Tell the students that Texas native Matthew McConaughey demonstrates his caring by establishing the J. K. Livin Foundation (short for just keep living) to honor and show gratitude for his father. He decided to start the J.K. Livin Foundation because "part of living is about giving back."
  • Ask the learners to think about and discuss the relationship between caring and thanksgiving, or gratitude. Ask, "Can caring be an act of gratitude? Is being thankful an act of caring?" Remind the learners of the celebrities and their philanthropic passions -- what they care about -- from the previous lesson. Ask, "How might what they care about be a response of gratitude?"
  • Ask the learners to look at the list of things they care about (from previous lesson) and have them write next to each of those things whether they care about it because it is partly a response of gratitude.
  • Allow volunteers to name things that they care about and if they are related to gratitude.

Bibliographical References:

j.k. livin Foundation http://jklivinfoundation.org/

Lesson Developed By:

Betsy Flikkema
Associate Director
Learning to Give

Barbara Dillbeck
Learning to Give


Philanthropy Framework:

Submit a Comment

All rights reserved. Permission is granted to freely use this information for nonprofit (noncommercial), educational purposes only. Copyright must be acknowledged on all copies.