Lesson Eleven



A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion
are the things which renew humanity.

He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed;
for he giveth of his bread to the poor.

Proverbs 22:9

Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart,
and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned

1 Timothy 1:5

BEHOLD, God enjoins justice, and the doing of good, and generosity
towards [one's] fellow-men;

Quran 16:90 (Asad)

Baha'i Faith
To give and to be generous are attributes of Mine;
well is it with him that adorneth himself with My virtues.



Discuss: What generosity means. Examples of how the children see generosity practiced in their daily lives. How generosity is practiced in your class. What various situations would look like without generosity. Why generosity is important.


Books that reinforce the theme of generosity
(Books can be previewed @ http://www.amazon.com)
If you don't want to purchase books, consider requesting them at your local library.

The Rainbow Fish By: Marcus Pfister
The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog! By: Mo Willems
The Giving Tree By: Shel Silverstein


Activities to support theme of generosity
Remember to plan enough time for the children to help clean up after each of their activities. It's another opportunity for them to put into practice the virtues they're learning.

Activities to go along with The Rainbow Fish story
Some of these suggestions to go along with The Rainbow Fish story might also work well with a lesson on the Baha'i Quote: ". . . the laws of God are like unto the ocean and the children of men as fish, did they but know it. . . .One must guide mankind to the ocean of true understanding in a spirit of love and tolerance."

  1. Fish Pond (Combination Activity and Arts and Crafts project)
    Make a carnival style fish pond booth by hanging a sheet or blanket over a rope and attaching each end of the rope to a high back chair so that the 'tank wall' is as tall and wide as you'd like your 'tank' to be. Make fishing lines using string or yarn with a clothes pin tied to one end to create a hook. The kids gently toss the fishing line over the sheet (into the water) and try to catch a fish. Someone hides behind the sheet and clips on tangled yarn seaweed, littered papers or water bottles, or eventually a big fish cut out of tag board. Once the kids catch their fish they can take it to the arts and crafts table to color and decorate.
  2. Go Fish card game.
    If you have a large class you might want to use two decks of cards and divide the class into two groups so it's more active and easier to manage.
  3. Octopus Tag
    Designate a rectangular area to be the ocean. The kids (fish) line up at one end and the octopus (it) stands in the middle. The octopus says "Swim" and all the fish try to swim past the octopus without getting tagged. The fish must stay within the boundaries of the ocean so you'll want to make sure the designated area isn't too wide or the game will take forever. When the octopus tags a fish that fish sits down where they were tagged. Then they help the octopus by tagging other fish as they run by each time. This continues until all the fish are tagged. Kids take turns being the octopus.


Arts and crafts Ideas
Consider printing the quote that goes with your lesson so the children can attach it to their projects.
  1. Rainbow Fish.
    Kids can color or paint their own fish. One fun and easy way of decorating the fish includes using paint dotters and covering the fish with a thin film of glitter glue when they're done painting so it looks like scales. If you're going to play the fish pond game and have the kids decorate what they catch it will work best to print the fish on card stock.
    I found some cute printable fish coloring pages here - www.coloring.ws/fish.htm

  1. Rainbow Fish Gift Tags
    Cut gift tags in the shape of fish. Let the kids color them and cover with a little glitter glue or some sequins to look like scales. Once dry, punch a hole and tie with ribbon as if the fish got caught. Families will enjoy having gift tags on hand, especially if you schedule this activity close to a gift giving holiday.
  2. The Giving Tree Collage
    Have the kids make a poster of trees with leaves and fruits. You can encourage the class to bring used gift wrapping paper and gift bags that can be repurposed for this arts and crafts project. Plan to provide some as well in case the kids don't bring a lot. Encourage the kids to label the fruits with various things they could be generous with and don't require money to buy (for example, giving time to play games with my a sibling, giving energy and help to clean house, giving homework assistance to a sibling, sharing talents and skills to teach friends how to do new things like making friendship bracelets, etc.).

    * Similar quotes from other religions that this project works well with: "The fruits of the tree of man have ever been and are goodly deeds and a praiseworthy character." - Baha'u'llah

"If You Give Love"


Snack Ideas
Remember to plan for hand washing or provide antibacterial wet wipes.
  1. Goldfish Colors Crackers
    make a fun easy snack to go along with the Rainbow Fish story.

  1. Rainbow Fish Jello
    Make blue jello in clear disposable glasses. Once the Jell-O is chilled slightly, so it's thickened but not set, add a few gummy fish. If you're doing this in the winter you can serve the Jell-O cups with whipped cream or Cool-Whip on top to represent a frozen over lake. Or, make the Jello in single serving zip-lock bags or little twist tie treat bags. An easier way, and more hands on way, to do this project is to make a big batch of blue jello ahead of time and let the kids dish it up into their own clear cups during class. The broken up jello looks like waves. Provide a bag of gummy fish and let the kids consult on how they should be shared. Add a vanilla wafer and a celery stalk to the jello cups to look like an island in the sea.
  2. Rainbow Fish Chocolate Fish
    For Valentines Day, stores carry foil wrapped chocolate fish (they usually go on sale for half price right after Valentine's Day so you can purchase them for half price ahead of time and save them until you need them). It's a very exciting treat to go with this lesson. The fish are usually pretty big, so encourage the kid to break off part to eat in class and take the rest home to share.
  3. Fresh Fruit Potluck
    To go along with The Giving Tree story invite the kids to bring different fruits to share that grows on trees.


Service Project Idea
This project goes well The Giving Tree story. If there's a charity that the class would like to support, consider making a giving tree. Call the charity ahead of time to find out if there are small ticket items that they are in need of (toothbrushes, combs, socks, non-perishable food items, etc.). Use recycled materials to make a small tree. You could even do this with a real tree if one is available where the activity will take place. Decorate the homemade tree with leaves made out of recycled material or construction paper . Cut fruit shapes out of construction paper and on each fruit write an item the charity requested. Attach the fruits to the tree with cloths pins, or punch holes in the top of the fruit and hang them on the branches. Families can be invited to pick fruit from the tree and bring the items listed on the fruit to the next class. Once the donations have been collected the contributions can be take to the charity. Call ahead of time to find out if it's suitable to bring your class. Get permission from all the parents/guardians before taking children on any service projects and have parents accompany the class to provide adequate adult supervision.

2011 The Gift of Virtues.com