Generosity Lesson Plan for Elementary School

Instructor: Mary Beth Burns

Mary Beth has taught 1st, 4th and 5th grade and has a specialist degree in Educational Leadership. She is currently an assistant principal.

Use this lesson plan to teach your students what it means to be generous. They will listen to a story, have a class discussion and evaluate scenarios for the level of generosity. As a performance task, students will write about how they can be generous.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to do the following:

  • Explain generosity
  • Identify examples of generosity
  • Consider how they can be generous in their own lives


45-60 minutes

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.1.7

Participate in shared research and writing projects (e.g., explore a number of 'how-to' books on a given topic and use them to write a sequence of instructions).

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.1.8

With guidance and support from adults, recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.


  • One copy of The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
  • Red construction paper cut into large hearts, one per student
  • Blank paper
  • Crayons

Key Vocabulary

  • Generosity
  • Giving
  • Sharing
  • Donating


Read Aloud

  • Gather the students for a read aloud.
  • Prior to reading the book, write the word generosity on the board. Have students say the word aloud. Tell students that generosity is when someone keeps on giving without expecting something in return. It is when you put the needs of others before yourself. Tell students to listen for examples of generosity in The Giving Tree.
  • Read The Giving Tree aloud to students. After reading, have a discussion with the following questions:
    • Who was generous in the story? How were they generous?
    • How does it feel to get a gift compared to giving a gift?
    • Who was happier in the story - the boy or the tree?
    • Do you have someone in your life who reminds you of the tree? How so?
    • How can you be generous like the giving tree?

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