Today, on our first day back to school after the winter break and evacuation orders, we learned about the very important character trait of generosity.  We talked with the children about the season of giving and ways that we can give. Students discussed buying presents for others and making cards. We also talked about passing on items that we no longer need that are in good shape. Generosity can be more than buying things….take a look at this video:

My favorite quote from this video is, “If you do good things, good things will happen to you.” On the heels of this, I read the book Boxes for Katje aloud.

After World War II there is little left in Katje’s town of Olst in Holland. Her family, like most Dutch families, must patch their old worn clothing and go without everyday things like soap and milk. Then one spring morning when the tulips bloom “thick and bright,” Postman Kleinhoonte pedals his bicycle down Katje’s street to deliver a mysterious box – a box from America! Full of soap, socks, and chocolate, the box has been sent by Rosie, an American girl from Mayfield, Indiana. Her package is part of a goodwill effort to help the people of Europe. What’s inside so delights Katje that she sends off a letter of thanks – beginning an exchange that swells with so many surprises that the girls, as well as their townspeople, will never be the same.

This inspiring story, with strikingly original art, is based on the author’s mother’s childhood and will show young readers that they, too, can make a difference. (Amazon)

The students were very moved by the book. It was incomprehensible to them that Katje didn’t have a bar of soap, and she hadn’t had chocolate for several years! I reminded the students of the Tecolote Tuesday we had right before school was closed. At that Tecolote Tuesday, two students visited from the Upper School. They came to ask us for donations of socks and jackets for local homeless people. In the spirit of the season of giving and to practice the character trait of generosity, I encourage students to bring in new socks and gently used or new jackets to donate.


As we approach the month of December, Ms. Atkinson and I wanted to teach students about the power of generosity, and the different ways one can show generosity. We started the Swooper Citizens lesson today by playing a game I called “Generosity Scoot.” I hung thirty cards with different scenarios around the room. Students were paired with a partner, given a recording sheet, and assigned a starting point. They read the scenario aloud and decided whether or not it showed generosity. Watch and see what happened:

Here are some of the scenarios we discussed:

Sam donated his old books to the library. Was this generous?

Bella saw a dollar on the ground and kept it, without telling an adult. Was this generous?

Brayden took all of the paper towels in the bathroom. Was this generous?

Layla shared a brownie with her friend and gave her friend the smallest part. Was this generous?

Luis woke up early to help his dad make breakfast. Was this generous?

Next I read a very special book aloud, Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed.


Can one child’s good deed change the world?

It can when she’s Ordinary Mary―an ordinary girl from an ordinary school, on her way to her ordinary house―who stumbles upon ordinary blueberries. When she decides to pick them for her neighbor, Mrs. Bishop, she starts a chain reaction that multiplies around the world. Mrs. Bishop makes blueberry muffins and gives them to her paperboy and four others―one of whom is Mr. Stevens, who then helps five different people with their luggage―one of whom is Maria, who then helps five people―including a man named Joseph who didn’t have enough money for his groceries―and so on, until the deed comes back to Mary.

It’s a feel-good story that inspires and celebrates a world full of ordinary deeds!

It all started with the simple act of picking blueberries! We then discussed how showing generosity doesn’t have to mean spending a lot of money. People can show generosity by sharing a smile, giving up a seat, helping to carry a bag, giving away toys that are no longer used….

Our service learning project this month is to collect new, adult-sized socks for the local nonprofit group, Angels Bearing Gifts, an organization that provides gifts for adults with developmental disabilities who have no one to remember them.

We will be tallying the number of pairs we collect, and I will deliver them to the organization Monday, December 5, so that our sock donations can be included in the holiday gift baskets. This is only one small example of the generosity our class will display during the month of December. We hope that you will be able to participate.