Teaching Children About Giving During the Holidays

Bring the spirit of giving and volunteering into your classroom with these tips.

People with careers in teaching are in a unique point of view to teach children about giving during the holidays. As Thanksgiving rolls around each year, charities and non-profit organizations ramp up their advertising and social media presence in the hopes of gathering as many donations as possible. Many kids would like to help make a difference, but they do not have the money to do so. Here are some ways to bring volunteering and giving to your classroom:

Take a field trip
Students love field trips. Why not take a field trip that matters and bring your students to a homeless shelter or humane society to give back? Visit a children's shelter to play with homeless youth and learn about how important it is to be grateful for what you have. Grab some books and head to a senior citizen living center to read to elderly people. They'll appreciate your students' energy and can even help them with their reading. Go to your local animal shelter and visit with the cats and dogs that are looking for homes. Kids can play with the animals while learning about the responsibilities it takes to have one. Be sure to speak with the organization you'd like to help out with first in order to make sure it's ok for your students to visit. 

Host a donation drive
Ask parents to send their kids to school with a can or two of food from their shelves. Donate the canned goods to a local food pantry. Kids grow a lot between seasons and often they have coats and winter accessories that do not fit or are no longer need. Collect those items and bring them to a family shelter in your area. Many shelters will work with you to provide information on what their residents need, from toiletries to toys and more, and you can use that information to decide what kind of donations to ask for from your class. Some shelters will provide information about certain people that need help, like a kid who really wants a train set or a man that needs a new coat. Helping associate a person with the donations can get your students more interested in giving and get them to better understand where their goods are going and who they will help.

This article is sponsored by Western Governors University, a non-profit, accredited, online university.
WGU's Teachers College offers multiple online degree programs for current teachers or those looking to become teachers. To find out more, please visit www.wgu.edu/wisecareers_teachers

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