It’s Back to School and I have 3 perfect books that you should check out!
Book 1: Chrysanthemum
This book is super cute and is about a little mouse named Chrysanthemum who starts school and the other little girls make fun of her name for many different reasons. She begins to hate her name and hate school until her teacher steps in and says how beautiful her name really is.
Normally, in a non pandemic world, I use this book to talk about hurtful words and how to treat others.
We read the book and discuss Chrysanthemums feelings and how unkind the other girls were. I then pass around a large paper heart that I cut out from butcher paper and I start off by saying something hurtful that someone has said to me and I crumple a piece of the heart. We pass the heart around the class and everyone tells something hurtful and crumples more of the heart. By the end, the heart is all wrinkled and in a ball.
Next, we talk about when people apologize to us or say something nice to us and I try my best to flatten out the heart and get out all the wrinkles. Of course, it is still all wrinkly and we talk about how those hurtful words can not be taken away, even if we apologize, we are just smoothing it over. We have a discussion of how we need to watch what we say because our words can never be taken back.
If you are teaching virtually, you can do this same thing, YOU will just have to wrinkle the heart as each student talks, OR have each student make their own small paper hear and crumple it as they share. At the end, ask them to smooth it out and get out the wrinkles. When they tell you they can’t, have the conversation.
Book 2: Giraffes Can’t Dance
This book is about a giraffe who sees all of his friends able to dance and have fun, but he doesn’t think he is good enough and doesn’t think he can dance. He feels left out until a wise owl tells him that we are all unique and we all have our own special dance.
Normally, in a non pandemic world, I use this book to talk about how we are all unique with our own special gifts and talents. We use dancing as a metaphor for our talents, and we talk about how we are all special in our own way. We brainstorm what makes us special and then students create a poem about what makes them unique. Click here to grab the project.
If you are teaching virtually, you can do this same thing, You can just have students make their poem using Google Slides. They can even add in pictures to their slide to show their personality.
Book 3: Sick Simon
This book is adorable! It is about Simon who comes to school sick and as the day goes on you can see everyone he comes in contact with and shares his germs with. The germs actually make an appearance and thank him for being a germ super hero and spreading them around. He then realizes what he has to do to get rid of the germs like covering his mouth when he coughs, washing his hands, etc.
Normally, in a non pandemic world, I wouldn’t need to read this book for back to school. I’d probably read it during flu season. I am going to read this book and then make a chart of what Simon was doing that allowed the germs to be so happy and to spread. We are going to talk about the consequences to his classmates.
Next we would make a chart of what Simon did to get rid of the germs and take it further and talk about what we can do to stop the spread of germs at school. For example, wear our mask, wash our hands…
If you are teaching virtually, you can do this same thing, You can make the chart with students while you are teaching live or you can record a video and then have students make their own charts in Google Slides.