So you know that saying, "Sticks and stone may break my bones, but words will never hurt me"??? It's false. I mean, yes, words will not actually break your bones, but they DO hurt. When I found this little think before you speak activity on Cara Carroll's blog HERE (at the bottom of her post), I was thrilled. Sometimes kids know exactly what they are saying, but sometimes they do not realize the hurtfulness of their words. This touching lesson really makes the lils think about their words.
I began by telling them the sticks and stones saying. Some had heard of it, but most had not. I explained what it meant, and we discussed how mean words can hurt our feelings. They all said they have experienced hurtful words... :/ Then, I explained that we were going to read the story Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes and gave a short summary, describing how the other characters are going to make fun of Chrysanthemum's name. Earlier, I had cut out a BIG heart from red bulletin board paper. I told the lils that we were going to crinkle and crumple up the heart each time someone in the story made fun of Chrysanthemum. As I read, we passed the heart around and crumpled it up for each hurtful word. They were amazed at how wrinkled it was becoming! Then, at the end of the story, the characters start to say kind things about her name. We tried our best to smooth out the wrinkles but to no avail. One lil was actually pretty upset that he was unable to straighten out the wrinkles... aww!! We discussed that even though the other students started being nice to Chrysanthemum, her heart was still wrinkled from their unkind words. To end the activity, we wrote our names on band aids (pen worked best on the fabric band aids) to try to help heal Chrysanthemum's heart AND as a little pledge to think before we speak.
This was such a beautiful lesson. My lils really took it to heart, pun intended. ;) As they were patching up the heart with their band aids, I heard them say, "Let's help her!" and "Let's make her feel better!" So sweet! I will hang to heart in the room as our visual reminder to think before we speak.
Oh ps, the Writer's Workshop presentation went SO well!! I talked a mile a minute, but I just had so much to share! I love spreading the word about all of the blogs that I follow and all of the ideas on pinterest. Hopefully, the grad students will follow my advice and get into teacher blog reading. It seriously changed my life. And I shamelessly plugged my lil blog (ahh blush!) haha, so if you are one of those grad students, HELLO and welcome to my lil world! :)