Canned Food Drive: Contribution or Curriculum? by Robin Caldwell, kindergarten teacher

Kindergartners counting and contributing

cannedgoods6Last week, our school kicked off its annual Second Harvest Canned Food Drive.  As a teacher and a parent, I have always believed children should help contribute to their community. When students contribute, they begin to understand the community around them.

Our principal also specified that this year that there was to be no prizes or rewards for participating. The good feeling of helping others in our community is the reward. The Second Harvest Canned Food Drive is building their intrinsic desire to help.

What I love most about this event, however, is how easily I can use the items donated in my lessons. Today, we counted the cans that we had collected to date. We made rows of 10 as we counted by ones. The students were so excited to count to see how many cans there were. We had 56 items! Then, we practiced counting them by 10’s.

But there are so many other learning opportunities. Later this week, we might…

  • use the cans to practice addition
  • sort by size (tuna cans are small compared to very large tomato sauce cans.)
  • find letters of the alphabet on our cans
  • measure how tall we are using same sized cans
  • sort by types of food (vegetables, soup, meat, other)

There are so many possibilities to tie our contribution into our curriculum.

Contribute is a habit we want students to develop. That includes helping others. #KSmithHabits


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