Classroom Generosity Trees
For this 'Giving Tree' activity you will need :
- Foam for tree cut-outs and apple cut-outs (see below for other alternatives)
Prior to this activity, you need to go to the craft store and find foam, felt, rubber, or wood to make cut-outs of trees. Cut-out foam is a good choice for this activity. Have the template of the tree ready, making sure to cut using appropriate measurements, so that the tree is big enough to allow enough room for the apples and leaves that will be given over time.
Students can decorate their trees as they wish, but they should allow room for the apples. Students make apples out of the foam and are asked to save them over time. They are also given a generosity journal. The generosity journal records all the acts of generosity they observe in their classmates, and each time this happens, they assign an apple to this particular student, writing their name and the reasons for their generous act on it. To avoid this being a popularity contest, have students pair up with different diverse sets of students who otherwise, would not be "friends". They will also have cut-outs of "generosity" leaves to be added to their own tree when they witness acts of kindness or generosity towards them from outside the classroom. This can be from other students, family members, or community members.
At the end of this The Giving Tree activity, students hand in their generosity journals containing kind actions they have observed throughout the week. You could also assign them an essay on the meaning of generosity and how they would see living a generous life to be important to them.