Gi-VING, Belie-VING, Lo-VING, Thri-VING

Grades: 
8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Author(s): 

In this two-session lesson plan, students are introduced to the VING video project. They have the opportunity to create a brief video as an application to award someone they admire $1,000 as a needed boost. This lesson guides discussion of why and how to take action for the good of someone in the community. A lesson in mini-grantmaking with a powerful impact on students and community. 

Lesson Rating 
0
Duration 
PrintTwo Fifty-Minute Class Periods, Plus Time for Creating a Video
Objectives 
Students will:
  • explore a space of generosity inside themselves and feel empowered to help someone in need.
  • identify role models and needs of community members.
  • name ways to take action related to an individual’s need or a community need.
  • nominate an individual facing a hardship for a financial boost from the VING project, a nonprofit organization that empowers teens to help someone in need by surprising them with a gift of $1,000.
Materials 
  • Teacher copy of the book The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein (also available on YouTube here)
  • Student copies of the handouts: VING Tree Outline, VING Rules, VING Script, and VING​ Video Rubric
Teacher Preparation 
  • Pre-read or watch The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. Mark places to stop and discuss vocabulary, identification of needs, and benefits of giving to giver and receiver. The reading will serve to empower students to see philanthropy as a means for overcoming barriers and the reminder that no matter your place in life, giving is always possible.
  • Be prepared to move your students into groups of 4 and with partners during student sharing time during this lesson. It’s very important that every voice is heard in discussion.
  • Why we use a picture book with this lesson: The Giving Tree is a parable on the joys of gi-VING with the moral of the story being that true kindness expects nothing in return. Your high school students will be familiar with this classic story, which will help provide a solid foundation for conversation when introducing the new gi-VING movement, the VING project.
  • Day Two is best held where technology is available, such as the computer lab.
Home Connection 

Tell the students that their homework is to decide, “Who would you like to give a boost to and/or encourage during a tough time?”  Give students the handouts and allow time for questions and clarifications (VING Rules, VING Script, and VING Video Rubric). Students should use the handouts to guide their video nomination.

  • Students should fill out the VING Script and make sure to include all of the requirements mentioned in VING Video Rubric.
  • In the next class period, students should return with their VING Script filled out. Let them know they will be using their scripts to film their video nominations and apply to the VING project.
  • If additional questions arise, visit https://www.vingproject.org/faq/ .
Reflection 

Day One: As an exit ticket, have the students write a full sentence or two about what they think it will feel like to hand a check for $1,000 to someone who has been a good citizen and needs help overcoming a financial barrier. They hand you the exit ticket as they leave class. 

Day Two: When student VING applications have been submitted, reflect on their hard work. For the reflection, ask students the following questions:

  • What do you think will happen if your nominee receives this boost?
  • How would it make you feel to give this boost?
  • How will you continue to positively impact your community? How else might you make a difference?
  • When these are completed, have students share out some of their answers in small groups or whole class.

CELEBRATE! by spreading the VING word! It’s important to acknowledge organizations who help our community and shed light on their hard work. Use your social media influence to tell your friends about the #VING project. Anyone 14-18 can apply at VINGproject.org. 

Instructions

Print
  1. Anticipatory Set: 

    Write the following question on the board or chart paper for students to respond in writing to when they walk in the classroom: “What is something selfless or sacrificial that someone you know has done to help others?” Under the question, list at least two examples, such as, “Ms Jones drives people to their chemotherapy appointments.” And, “My uncle plows driveways for free in his neighborhood.”
  2. Give students two minutes to answer this in writing independently. (This should be used as an opener to get your students thinking about good that goes on around them. We are so used to focusing on the negative that it might be difficult for them to get started on this question.)

  3. To keep the momentum going, don’t wait until all are finished however make sure that most have at least one thing written down before you move on. Ask students to speak with others at their tables (or groups of 4 in close proximity) and share their answers. This tends to help the student who was “stuck” come up with something to write down because they hear what their peers are sharing and it jogs their memory. As they are sharing, ask students to write down one of their answers on a sticky note (or scrap of paper that you have given them). 

  4. Ask students to stick their answers to the board below the question and then move back to their seat. Read a few of the answers to the class and let students know they will be used later in the lesson.

  5. Read (or listen to) The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein.

    Discuss:

    • What are some needs of the boy?
    • What barriers are in his way? How does the tree remove the barriers?
    • How does the tree feel?
    • How do you wish the boy had responded?
    • How do you feel when you do something that makes a difference or brings a smile to someone’s face? 
  6. Give a hint of the VING project by telling them that they are going to do just that. They are going to be like the Giving Tree and help someone overcome a barrier and experience what it's like to be a giver in a meaningful new way.

  7. Ask the following questions:

    • "Would you like to help someone you care about overcome a barrier?"
    • “Can you think of someone in your community (school, neighborhood, city) who has fallen on hard times but still goes around with a smile on their face?”
    • “Do you know of anyone who is sick or has health problems and is unable to keep up with other expenses?" 

    Have students recall the sticky note they put on the board at the beginning of class, and ask the following questions about that person: 

    • "Does the person you named on your sticky note have a perfect life?" 
    • "What are some of the obstacles those people face each day? Health? Job? Financial? Being a caregiver for someone else?" 
    • "Why do they continue to help others in their community?"
  8. Give students the Tree Outline handout and have students start by writing the name of someone they know who needs a boost in the trunk. Tell them this person should be someone outside of their family, over 18 years old, and facing a current hardship. (This will serve as the foundation for their VING idea, so it's important and helpful that the person they choose to write about meets the VING criteria -- outside of family, over 18, and facing a hardship.)

    • Have the students write phrases by the roots that describe the current situation of their person. They fill in that person’s current responsibilities, goals, and struggles.
    • Continue by having students write phrases by the branches that reflect on their person’s future dreams. What does this person hope to accomplish? What are they working toward?
    • Lastly, acknowledge that we can all do something to empower someone else. The raindrops represent actions the student can take to give a boost to this person. Have them fill in two examples of things they can do to support this person, with the third raindrop representing VING.
  9. Tell the students that being part of a community means we are all in this together and we help one another through hard times by taking action to help with the effects and/or the root causes. As citizens we can take action to help others on three different levels:

    • Be kind and have good character (be kind, honest, hard-working)
    • Participate in action and society (vote, volunteer, or contribute to a fundraiser)
    • Take action to seek justice and solutions to root causes (lead a protest, teach others about an issue, help someone overcome a barrier)
  10. Share the following VING! video to show students how another student gave a gift to someone who needed a financial boost.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-LhbQIWUns

  11. Say: “Sometimes a little bit of money helps people overcome barriers.”

    Tell the students about VING by sharing the following details that explain how VING works and the VING question:

    • "There is an organization that believes in the power of giving and wants to empower teens to help others in a new way.  It's called the VING project and they want to give you the chance to experience first-hand what it's like to be a giver.
    • VING comes from the word gi-VING, and teens 14–18 from across the country are invited to make a 2-minute video and answer the VING question: If you had $1,000 to give to a person in need, who would you VING it to?
    • Every month, teens behind the most inspiring videos will get to do just that:  Be the giver of $1,000 to a person in need and change their life."
  12. Tell students that—like the Giving Tree—they will have the chance to experience what it's like to help someone out during a time of need by nominating someone in their life for a VING.

    • Ask students to consider nominating the person they wrote about on the tree outline as a possible recipient.
    • To get them thinking of ideas, share a couple of these video clips from the VING project. These are examples of student submissions conbined with the VING check being presented.

    VING Video examples:

  13. After viewing VING project videos, ask students the following question to check for understanding:

    "What's the common connection between these VING recipients?"  

    (Draw attention to the fact that although all recipients were facing a financial need, they were still pushing through to make the best of their difficult circumstances. VING wants teens to help people who are doing all the right things even though life is knocking them down.)

  14. Homework: Tell the students that their homework is to decide, “Who would you like to give a boost to, and/or encourage during a tough time?"

    • Give students the handouts and allow time for questions and clarifications (VING Rules, VING Script, VING Video Rubric).
    • Students will use the handouts as homework to guide their video nomination.
    • Students fill out the VING Script and make sure to include all of the requirements mentioned in VING Video Rubric.
    • In the next class period, students should return with their VING Script filled out. Let them know they will be using their scripts to film their video nominations and apply to the VING project.
    • If additional questions arise, they may visit https://www.vingproject.org/faq/ 
  15. Reflection: As an exit ticket, have the students write a full sentence or two about what they think it will feel like to hand a check for $1,000 to someone who has been a good citizen and needs help overcoming a financial barrier. They hand you the exit ticket as they leave class. 

  16. Day Two:

    If possible, this class period is best held where technology is available, such as a computer lab.

  17. Anticipatory Set:

    Share a few of the student responses from the previous day’s exit tickets.

  18. Ask students to get out their VING Script and VING Rubric. 

  19. Students share drafts with a partner. Have the partner use the rubric to critique the draft. (This draft will be used later to make the student application video.) They make any revisions that are needed so that all of the necessary information is included.

  20. Introduce the VING website. https://www.vingproject.org/  (If students have their own technology available, give them a few minutes to explore the website.) 

  21. Tell students that they will now have a chance to create and submit a video to give someone a boost. Direct them to the "Nominate Now" button on the website - also found here:  https://www.vingproject.org/nominate-now/

  22. Students will be able to work individually, in pairs, or even with a small group to create a video application. (Videos can be uploaded directly on the VING website.)

  23. Give students class time, at your discretion, to do the work needed to complete this process OR give it as homework. 

  24. Students will need to have the following information available to fill out their online application:

    • Personal information
    • Short answer responses to the following: How do you know this person? How long have you known this person? Tell us about their current situation of need. What do you hope they could do with $1,000? Finish this sentence: I VING because _______.
    • Record your video: record from webcam, upload a video file, or record from a phone.
  25. Students submit a VING video and application. 

  26. When student VING applications have been submitted, reflect on their hard work. For the reflection, ask students the following questions:

    • What do you think will happen if your nominee received this boost?
    • How will it make you feel to give this boost?
    • How will you continue to positively impact your community? How else might you make a difference?

    When these are completed, have students share out some of their answers in small groups or whole class.

  27. Finally, CELEBRATE! by spreading the VING word! It's important to acknowledge organizations who help our community and shed light on their hard work.  Use your social media influence to tell your friends about the #VING project. Anyone 14 - 18 can apply at VINGproject.org.

Assessment 
  • Day One Exit slips
  • Student VING Script
  • Student VING nomination video
  • Celebration social post

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark HS.1 Define philanthropy to include giving and sharing; volunteering; and private individual action intended for the common good. Explain how a volunteer individual/group can act for the common good.
      2. Benchmark HS.2 Identify and discuss examples of philanthropy and charity in modern culture.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark HS.2 Discuss and give examples of why some humans will sacrifice for the benefit of unknown others.
      2. Benchmark HS.4 Describe and give examples of characteristics of someone who helps others.
    2. Standard PCS 07. Skills of Civic Engagement
      1. Benchmark HS.1 Utilize the persuasive power of written or oral communication as an instrument of change in the community, nation or the world.
  3. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 01. Needs Assessment
      1. Benchmark HS.1 Identify a need in the school, local community, state, nation, or world.
    2. Standard VS 04. Raising Private Resources
      1. Benchmark HS.1 Build a case for giving, explaining why resources (volunteers and money) are needed.
      2. Benchmark HS.5 Distribute private funds as a grantmaking committee.
    3. Standard VS 05. Integrating the Service Experience into Learning
      1. Benchmark HS.2 Evaluate progress on the service-learning project before, during, and after the project.