Lesson Plan: Simple Service at Corridor Elementary

Last week Little Hands Can went to Corridor Elementary to talk to the 1st through 2nd graders about Martin Luther King Day/National Day of Service. It was a fun opportunity to get kids excited about acts of kindness.

I want to include our lesson plan here so that you can use parts of it to get the children in your family, your classrooms, or your church groups excited about acts of kindness as well. We had 150 kids in our group, and divided into smaller groups to work on projects. You can adapt the lesson plan to meet the needs and size of your group. Even though MLK day has past, it's never too late to talk about these issues:

INTRO WITH All Students Combined:

  • Supplies: White board or big poster board, dry erase markers
  • I need one person to tell me who Martin Luther King, Jr was. Who can raise their hand and tell me? (Emphasize Martin Luther King's dream and the fact that one man managed to help change a whole country.)
  • We’ve come a long way since MLK was alive, but we still have a long way to go. There are still things that are unfair in the world and we have a responsibility (just like MLK) to change some of those things. Ask children what they think is unfair, and what they think they can do to change it. If they could change big things in the world, what would they be?
  • Right now we’re in elementary school and some people might think we’re too little to do too much in the world. But did you know that you can do things to help?! Today we’re going to brainstorm some things that you can do to help make the world a better place. Raise your hand to tell me something you can do to help make the world a better place. (We’ll write ideas on the whiteboard as kids say them. Perhaps it's collecting cans for a local food bank to help the hungry, or running a car wash to raise money for the homeless. Maybe it's bringing entertainment to cancer patients at a local hospital or sending care packages to soldiers abroad.) This discussion idea came from: http://www.kidactivities.net/category/Holidays-Dr-Martin-Luther-King-Day.aspx
  • Introduce the four activities that we’ll be doing today to make the world a little brighter.  We can all make the world a better place starting with our school and expanding to the entire world.
    • We’ll be playing a fun game about spreading kindness to those around us and reading a book about a special girl in elementary school who helped make the world a better place.
    • We’re going to make our school a better place by cleaning up the trash outside.
    • We’ll make a birdfeeder to help the birdies who are having a hard time finding food this winter
    • We’re going to make special friendship bracelets for kids who live in an orphanage in Haiti


  • Supplies: Ruby Bridges Goes to School (book)
  • Activity/Discussion:
    • Play Game: “Wipe That Smile Off Your Face” – 1 person makes silliest, happiest smile then uses hand to “wipe” smile off face and hand it to the next person.  Everyone else tries their hardest not to smile.  Purpose: Discuss with students how we can help others by smiling and it makes us feel good too.
    • Read Book: Explain that this book is about a special girl who was the same age as these kids who worked so hard to make the world a better place. Read Ruby Bridges Goes to School
    • Discuss the book. How do you think Ruby felt? How have things changed since Ruby was a little girl?
    • Ruby did a lot of good for the world and she was just your age. What are some things that you guys can do (may be review from first discussion)?


  • Supplies: Garbage bags
  • Discussion:
    • Martin Luther King, Jr Day is about keeping the world clean from racism. Why is that important?
    • Today we’re also going to work on keeping the world clean from trash. Why is that important?
    • Reminder that if they see something sharp/gross to notify parent volunteer, not pick it up.
  • Activity:
    • Have children pick up trash from the school yard and track.  Wash hands.


  • Supplies: Peanut Butter, Something to spread PB with (knife, spoon, popsicle stick), Toilet paper rolls, Birdseed, Tray (baking pan)
  • Discussion: Help students learn the importance of making birdfeeders this time of year.
    • We are celebrating diversity of people today, but there are also diverse animals. Today we’re going to do a service project for the beautiful birds in our community. What’s your favorite type of bird?
    • We’re going to make bird feeders! Why do you think it’s a good idea to make a birdfeeder? How can it help the birds?
  • Activity: Spread PB on the outside of the Toilet paper rolls, Roll it in Birdseed.  Tell kids to take it home and place it on a tree branch for the birds to find.
  • Supplies: String, pony beads, Bowls for beads
  • Discussion: Help students learn where Haiti is, what an orphanage is, and what we can do to spread some love.  We can be friends with people around the world.
    • Today we’re making friendship bracelets for kids who live in an orphanage in Haiti.
    • Does anyone know where Haiti is? (It’s on an island in the Caribbean)
    • Does anyone know what an orphanage is? (When kids don’t have parents they can live together in an orphanage). What do you think it would be like to live there?
  • Activity: Each bracelet uses about 25 pony beads. Have children string their bracelets. They will keep one and give one to a Haitian. Most kids will probably need help tying the first bead on their string so that the rest don’t fall off. They will also need help tying the bracelet together at the end.
  • Bracelets are donated for humanitarians at Humanitize Expeditions to bring to Haiti.

Would you like us to come to your school, church, or other activity? Contact us for details!