Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Book Talk Tuesday! Want your kids to be kind at recess? (with a FREEBIE!)

Blogging two days in a row? WHAT? I'm definitely going to try to blog more often and since I'm on a roll, I'm going to share one of my favorite books with you for Book Talk Tuesday!! I thought for the next couple of weeks, I would share some of my favorite character education books with you!

These are my favorite books to use when teaching students to be kind. I teach kindness hand in hand with teaching about friendship. The books below are just a few of the books I read to my kinders each year. These books are ESPECIALLY helpful when teaching kindness at recess, which at least for my kiddos, was a really difficult task!

I'm sure that this is not a new find for many of you, but one of my FAVORITE books to read to teach about kindness/friendship is The Recess Queen!

What better kindergarten experience could there be for kiddos to relate to than RECESS? Through this story, Mean Jean, the Recess Queen, learns to be a kind friend when someone asks her to play. The other kiddos realize that she is only mean because she is lonely and wanted a friend.  

It gives them tons of examples of what not to do at recess, especially being physical (which I strongly stress is VERY WRONG while reading). I often read this on the first day of school, right before we go out to our first recess. It is a great way to introduce your recess rules and the importance of being a kind friend! 

Through this book I also make sure that I give my kiddos the language they need to ask someone to play. Some of them are so shy/non-verbal in the beginning of the school year, they use inappropriate language/actions because they don't know how else to ask someone to play!

Another favorite of mine is Chrysanthemum. Poor Chrysanthemum gets made fun of because her name is so different from anyone else's. We see throughout the story how horrible it makes Chrysanthemum feel. In the end, a teacher makes her feel good about herself and proud of her name.

This is also a perfect book to read when teaching kindness at recess, because recess is often a time where kiddos think they can get away with being unkind since they are out of earshot of the teacher. Since in the story, the students never actually apologize to Chrysanthemum for making fun of her, this book is when I introduce our special strategy. You can get get a copy of the language I use with my kiddos for FREE here :)

The students "act out" the apology of the other kiddos to Chrysanthemum and practice our apology strategy this way. Practicing as another "person" gives them the language and tools to use in a non-threatening way.

I also often read Hey Little Ant! This is also a perfect book to read to teach kindness at recess. I cannot tell you how many times I see my little ones ripping branches off of trees or stomping on spiders. They just don't understand that they are hurting another living thing. Hey Little Ant lets kids hear the perspective of the little ant and I find that many of them "see the light."

I often use the motto "Keep nature in nature" when we are out at recess and encourage the kiddos to not only be kind to one another, but kind to nature as well. 

These ideas, read-alouds, and resources are just a smidgen of what is included in my Because I'm Happy! Character Education pack. It's a YEARS worth of read-alouds, posters, activities, emergent readers, craftivities, and more to help teach your primary kiddos the importance of having good character.

It's not done yet, but my goal is to have it finished by summer! We'll see how that goes :)

1 comment:

Stacy Ess said...

Thanks for sharing! I have all of these books, but never thought to use them this way. Great idea!

Second Grade Sweetie Pies

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