Contact personnel at a nursing home or assisted living home in your area and ask if they can suggest a list of things residents might appreciate receiving from a group of third graders. Many administrators are happy to contribute ideas. They might even supply the names of residents who do not receive many visitors or much mail and would enjoy either or both.
Share with the children the list you received. Work with them to help choose items from the list in which they are interested. For instance, one child may choose to write a letter, another to draw a picture, or a small group may decide to create greeting cards. Or, you may decide to arrange a “field trip” so that children could sing or put on a skit for the residents.
Invite the children to share if they have elderly family members living with, or near them, or elderly neighbors with whom they are friendly. Encourage the children to offer ways that these people could benefit from their help.
Record on the board their ideas about ways to help. Then, ask the group to select one or two of the listed ideas and discuss how they might act on them individually or as a group.