Once upon a time there was a farmer. He had many acres of land, a farmhouse, a new red barn, and lots of animals. What kind of animals do you think he had? He had pigs, cows, sheep, horses, chickens, and geese. A dog and a cat also lived on the farm.

The farmer was happy with all he had. He had everything he needed! He grew almost all the food his family ate, and his wife was a good cook. The chickens and geese gave him eggs for breakfast, and the cows gave milk to drink. Sometimes the family would eat a chicken, goose, or pig for dinner. He had fruit from the trees, vegetables from the garden, and fresh water from the stream. He worked very hard on his farm, but he was happy.

Then one day something unusual happened. The farmer went to the barn as usual in the morning to collect the eggs. In the straw next to his favorite goose he found a golden egg! He picked it up, and it was heavy like real gold. It WAS real gold! He rushed into town and took it to the bank. It was worth a lot of money!

“I’ll be rich!” he thought. “This goose will make me rich!”

After that, the farmer checked the straw every day. He found more golden eggs! He felt lucky but sometimes he was mad when he had to wait two or three days for the goose to lay another golden egg. The farmer was thinking all this time about what he’d do with the money.

“If this goose keeps laying golden eggs, I’ll be the richest man in the whole wide world!”

Now the farmer spent most of his time just waiting and dreaming by the straw near the goose. He didn’t spend time with his wife and children, and they missed him. He didn't take care of his other animals or any of his farm work. All he could think about was becoming the richest man in the world.

One day the farmer was getting impatient again, and his greedy thoughts wouldn’t go away. “I’ll be rich, rich, RICH!” Why doesn’t this silly goose lay another egg? Come on, goose. It’s been two days!” the impatient farmer scolded the goose.

All of a sudden he had an idea. “Why don’t I cut open the goose and just take all the eggs out of her?” he thought. So, without thinking, he killed the goose and looked inside. And when he looked inside there were no eggs! And now that the mother goose was dead, there would be no more golden eggs at all! Poor goose! Poor farmer!

The farmer had left his farm work so long, just waiting for the golden eggs, his farm came to ruin and he had to spend all the money from the golden eggs just to get back to where he started from.

Lesson Plan Objectives

Cognitive: Students will realize that being greedy is wrong and that they should be grateful for what they have.

Affective: Students will want to take care of what they have and appreciate what they have.

Behavioral: Students will be less greedy about food, toys, turns, etc.

Lesson Plan

Class Session 1

Read the story to the students. Ask students, "Are you sad that the goose died? Are you sad for the farmer's wife and children? Are you sad for the farmer? Or did he get what he deserved?"

Mention that even though it’s a made-up story, and we know in real life a goose can’t lay a golden egg, we still feel sad. The poor goose got killed, but she didn't do anything bad at all! Ask students if they remember why the farmer killed the goose that was so good to him.

Affirm that the farmer became greedy and impatient. Greedy means you want more and more; so much that you’ll do almost anything to get it, even something wrong. Greedy also means that you want more than your share. Maybe everyone got a cookie, but you ate yours really fast. Then you start looking at other people's cookies and wishing they'd give you theirs, even though that means they wouldn't have any at all. That's being greedy. It means not sharing, it means wanting more than what you already have and more than your share. It also means not being thankful for what you do have.

Point out that the farmer had a lot of wonderful things. Ask: "What was good about the farmer's life? What did he already have? Should the farmer have thought about people who had no food at all when he wanted so much more than he had?"

Mention that the farmer was also "impatient." Impatient means that you are upset because something isn’t happening fast enough. Sometimes we do or say something mean when something isn't happening fast enough. Ask if students ever get impatient when they have to wait in the doctor's office, for example, or when they are waiting to open a present, or when they are waiting for their mother or father to take them some place they want to go, but their mother or father has to get some work done first.

Explain that the farmer couldn’t wait for the next egg. In fact, he became so greedy and impatient, he acted foolishly without even thinking. If he had taken more time to really think about it, he would have realized that wasn't a good idea after all. So he did something very foolish because he didn’t stop to think about what would happen. He did not think of the consequences of his actions.

Write the word "Consequences" on the board and have students repeat it after you several times. Explain that this big word just means what happens after we do something—the results of our actions. Demonstrate by placing a pencil on the edge of your desk. Explain, "If I leave something on the edge of my desk, and then I brush against it, the consequence will be that it falls off my desk." Make the pencil fall down as if you accidentally brushed against it. Explain, "Some consequences are big, some are little. It is not such a big consequence if a pencil falls off my desk. What if I put a big, full glass of soda there? The consequences would be much bigger. There would be broken glass and sticky stuff to clean up."

Explain that consequences are simply what comes after or follows what we do—they can be good or bad. Explain that if we do something good, like study hard, usually good things happen, like we get good grades. If we do something bad, like pull a dog's tail, usually bad things happen, like the dog barks at us or bites us.

Ask students to name some consequences of:
  • Doing your homework
  • Not studying for a test
  • Drawing all over the walls at home
  • Leaving food outside
  • Helping mom with the dishes
  • Sweeping up without being asked

Explain that sometimes bad things happen even when you don’t do anything bad, and sometimes good things happen even if you don’t do anything good. Most of the time, though, good consequences will follow good actions and bad consequences will follow bad actions.

Ask students if they think what the farmer did to the goose was bad. Then ask them to name all the consequences of the farmer's actions.

Class Session 2

Materials needed:

Sweets—candies, marshmallows, cookies—enough for every child to have two

Remind students of the story of the farmer who killed the goose that laid the golden eggs because he was impatient and greedy. Mention that you know how hard it is to be patient sometimes, but it is a good thing to learn. Being patient means that you tell yourself you will have to wait longer than you want to wait. Ask the students to tell you about times when they are impatient. Is it in the doctor's office? Waiting for the circus to come to town? Waiting for their birthdays?

Explain that it is good to learn how to be patient. Tell them you will teach them some ways to be patient. Ask them to imagine they are standing in a long line, waiting for something. Encourage them to think of nice things to do when you get home or the good time you had playing with your friend yesterday. You can talk to other people in line to pass the time. You can hum to yourself (quietly, so you don't bother the other people standing in line!)

If you have to wait at a doctor's or dentist's office, they usually have magazines and toys. These things are there to help people be patient. Urge them to try to make themselves happy or busy while they are waiting for something. Ask them to share with the class any methods they use when they have to wait for something and don't want to get impatient.

Try the famous "marshmallow" experiment on them. You can use candy, marshmallows, cookies, or any small sweet. Explain that scientists have tested children on this and they found that children who could wait well got better grades, had more friends, had more money when they were grown up and were happier in many ways. You are going to help them to be patient and wait well.

Explain that each child will be given a piece of sweet. Those who do not eat their sweet right away but who wait fifteen minutes will be given a second sweet to eat. Those who eat the first one before the time is over will only get that one.

Encourage all the children to try to get the second treat. Show them fifteen minutes on the clock. Suggest that they might want to lay their heads down on their desks and rest for a few minutes. Suggest that they get a picture book and look at the pictures or read. Suggest that they play tic-tac-toe or other quiet games with one partner, but no talking. Suggest that they draw and color a picture to pass the time.

Put one sweet on each child's desk. Encourage all of them to wait out the time well and earn their second sweet.