Where Do You Give?

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Student Track Lesson Plan

Where Do You Give? National Design Competition: Student Track Lesson Plan



Middle School; can be adapted for other ages


45 minutes


This lesson plan invites students to think about the tzedakah box as a ritual object and to reflect on the ways in which the tzedakah boxes they are familiar with do or do not represent their tzedakah-giving practices. Using text, personal reflection, art and student interviews, it sets the stage for students to design their own tzedakah boxes that express the realities of where, to whom and why they give tzedakah. This lesson enables students to participate in the Student Track of the Where Do You Give? National Design Competition, which challenges artists, designers and conceptual thinkers to create a tzedakah box for the 21st century that reflects where, to whom and why people give tzedakah today.


  • Students will analyze the tzedakah box as a ritual object.
  • Students will reflect on how tzedakah boxes can both represent and influence how we give.
  • Students will design tzedakah boxes that reflect a range of competing tzedakah values.


  • Chart paper or whiteboard
  • Tzedakah Box Memories page (provided below)
  • 10-15 tzedakah boxes (see preparation section below)
  • Images of tzedakah boxes (provided below)
  • Tzedakah Box Tour page (provided below)
  • Where Do You Give? National Design Competition: Student Track, A Guide for Schools (provided below)


  • Ask students to bring one tzedakah box from home. (If students don’t have tzedakah boxes or would prefer not to bring them in, they can bring a photograph or picture of a tzedakah box instead.)
  • Bring in your own tzedakah boxes and those of your friends and colleagues to supplement the students’ boxes.
  • Try to include some examples of tzedakah boxes that are from specific organizations.
  • Set up part of the room like a museum exhibit with tzedakah boxes the students brought from home and images of other tzedakah boxes.

Download full lesson plan (PDF).