Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Making a Difference on May Day

We started off this beautiful day reading a wonderful book called Ordinary Mary's Extraordinary Deed, by Emily Pearson.
If you haven't read this book, here is a synopsis from Amazon:
 Ordinary Mary is an ordinary girl from an ordinary school, on her way to her ordinary house-who stumbles upon ordinary blueberries. When she decides to pick them for her neighbor, Mrs. Bishop, she starts a chain reaction that multiplies around the world. Mrs. Bishop makes blueberry muffins and gives them to her paperboy and four others-one of whom is Mr. Stevens, who then helps five different people with their luggage-one of whom is Maria, who then helps five people-including a man named Joseph who didn't have enough money for his groceries-and so on, until the deed comes back to Mary.
We started with a good vocabulary lesson about "ordinary,"  "extraordinary,"  and "deed."  The book really got my kids thinking that they could each make a difference by doing something kind.  They also loved the fact that it was a CIRCLE STORY!  Gotta love that!
The very favorite part was the last page which shows exactly how one kind deed can touch everyone in the whole world. Mary made five people happy.  They each made five people happy, so that made 125 happy people - and so on... See for yourself...
  Needless to say, we were amazed!
We have been working on kindness all year long, and this also  kept with our Miss Rumphius theme of making the world more beautiful. 
Another similar and wonderful book is The Boy Who Changed the World, by Andy Andrews.
Here is the synopsis from Amazon:
The Boy Who Changed the World opens with a young Norman Borlaug playing in his family’s cornfields with his sisters. One day, Norman would grow up and use his knowledge of agriculture to save the lives of two billion people. Two billion! Norman changed the world!  Or was it Henry Wallace who changed the world?  Or maybe it was George Washington Carver?

Both books have a wonderful message, but both were a bit wordy and long for my children.  I condensed some of it so they understood the theme and message, because the message is fabulous.

I also want to read One Smile, by Cindy McKinley. 
 It sounds great but I haven't seen it yet. It may be in my cart on Amazon as we speak... :)
Even the smallest acts of kindness can powerfully impact the lives of others. This truth is beautifully demonstrated as we follow the far-reaching effects of young Katie's innocent smile.
With this simple gesture, she ignites a circle of warmth that flows from person to person, touching the hearts and lives of people she may never even meet.

I made a Prezi called The Power of One

 It is free at  my TPT store.   It is a slide show type Prezi, so you click through the arrows on the bottom.  I included some of my favorite quotes and pictures, videos, and a link to a wonderful post called  The Small Side of Numbers by Dan Pearce, from his blog Single Dad Laughing.  You can click through at your own pace and watch or skip any of the videos you want. The adorable little butterfly in the picture near the end is my daughter many years ago on Halloween. :)

I didn't make this Prezi to use with  my class.  I made it to use in a class for teachers.  It was just some inspirational thoughts that are good for all of us to remember- good for older students and adults.    I do think I will show my children this video from Life Vest  tomorrow.  It goes along with the "Pay if Forward" theme.  I think they will like it and it will create some good discussions! 

Here is one more I loved... :)

Thank you for visiting!
Happy Teaching,

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