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Teacher: Esther Lee
Subject: English/Language Arts; Social Science, Visual Arts
Grades: 6–7
School: KAPPA 2, MS 317 in Harlem
Location: New York, New York
Sponsor: A famous children's author who chooses to remain anonymous.

Quote from the Teacher: "I was very moved. I didn’t realize that my little students of the ages of 11 and 12 held that much emotional power and emotional connection towards their causes."

Overview: In Esther Lee's exciting Giving Classroom, talented 6th and 7th graders identified social problems in their community, then researched five nonprofits in their geographic area that sought solutions. She had the students write essays about their chosen issues and how those issues affect their community, country, and world. She also had them write moving poems that they printed and read aloud. They designed and created advertising posters for the causes they cared about. Students also wrote business letters to their selected charities to accompany the Charity Checks and artwork.

She also integrated her Charity Checks project into her regular reading and Language Arts unit on The Elephant Man.

Teaching Materials: For copies of the lesson plans and templates that Esther Lee created for her Giving Classroom and Charity Checks, click on any of the below:

Lesson Plans (160kb)

Worksheet: Choosing a Charity (78kb)

Letter of Explanation to Charity (56kb)

Art Rubric for Advertisement Posters (76kb)

Business Letter Handout (87 kb)

Business Letter Rubric (76kb)

Worksheet: Writing a Poem about Charity (79kb)

Rubric for Poem about Charity (75kb)

Evaluation Sheet for Work In-Progress (49kb)

Rubric for Essay about Charity (92kb)

Press Coverage: WABC-TV News and WCBS-TV News

Photo Gallery of Students' Work

View Other Lessons

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