Monday, July 8, 2013

Picture Book Linky Party: Character Education

I am linking up with First Grade and Fabulous for her Picture Book Linky Party.

I LOVE using Character Education books throughout the year and can't wait to see other blogger's ideas!

Here are some I love:
I actually like this one better for my Kindergarteners  than the How Full is Your Bucket, but they are both great.

This is an oldie that my kids had.  The little girl looks for "sweet surprises" that she can do for her family - acts of kindness that nobody knows she has done.  She wants to find ten. She does nine, and then her mom does one for her to surprise her and make ten. It is just sweet- and gets children thinking of ways they could help out or do something kind for someone else.

These next three are all great for showing that being different is what makes a  person special!

This one is always a favorite. It is different, and maybe that's why the kids like it.  We read it on day 1 or day 2...  Kindergarteners are pretty self centered and think that they can kind of do whatever they would like- but this helps them realize what would happen if EVERYBODY did something.

      Here is a sample picture if one person squeezed the cat:


Millie Fierce is a new book I haven't gotten yet but can't wait to get!   Here is the description:

Millie is quiet. Millie is sweet.  Millie is mild.  But the kids at school don't listen to her.  And she never gets a piece of birthday cake with a flower on it.  And some girls from class walk right on top of her chalk drawing and smudge it.  And they don't even say they're sorry!
So that's when Millie decides she wants to be fierce!  She frizzes out her hair, sharpens her nails, and runs around like a wild thing.  But she soon realized that being fierce isn't the best way to get noticed either, especially when it makes you turn mean.  So Millie decides to be nice, but to keep a little of that fierce backbone hidden inside her.  In case she ever needs it again.

OK- wait... maybe I want that one just for ME! I kind of feel like Millie was me there in the beginning somedays! 

This is a good one, too- for being kind EVEN to your "enemies."

This one is great for a lesson on kindness!

In the book, Miss Ruler's class keeps track of kind deeds on a bulletin board.  The children do so many good deeds, like clearing the table after dinner and  helping other people, and soon they have 100 acts of kindness.

After we read this, my class was really excited to share some kind things they each had done for other people, so we decided make our own heart board!  This was our chart in its beginning stages.  If one piggybacked on another, I put them beside each other. We talked about how boomerangs come back to you when you throw them, just like being kind comes back to make you feel better.   
My kids LOVE this Kindness Boomerang video to go along with the book.

Another favorite:
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...

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.
This book is a simple, pay-it-forward message of kindness. 
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 thought you might enjoy it to go along with all these Character Education books.

Here are  a couple Character Education quickies for you...
My friend just shared this with me and I had to pass it right on because I hadn't seen it and loved it.  The story was cute- but I loved the idea with the eggs!

I do this with M&M's.  First the children get to choose their favorite color and eat it.  The next time, they have to close their eyes and pick an unknown color and eat it.  THEN, they have to tell me what color they ate.

After they decided they can't tell the color- we talk about how we are all the same on the inside, like those M&M's - no matter what we look like on the outside.

We model how it is NO FUN to cheat because it ruins the game. It is easy to tell the color when you open your eyes and cheat... They sort of need to be reminded of that.  After that, I didn't have anyone even try to cheat.  They learned that once the jig is up- you don't even try to pull it off.

Thanks for stopping by! 

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