I was at the grocery store several months ago when I discovered a sale book bin!! I had to hide my excitement from my family who certainly would have dragged me away. :) I bought 5 new hardcover books for under $20. SO cheap! Who doesn't love a great deal? - especially on children's books. One of the books I had to put away until Spring because of the theme of the book but I have been forever anxious to read it to my students. Well, today was the day!
If you are a regular reader, you will know that I spend a great deal of time teaching social learning, mindful learning and just "be a good person for goodness sake" learning!! Soooo, when I found a book with a plants and Spring theme that also had a social learning lesson in it well - wow! I was giddy.
This is the book that I found. Have you seen it?
We worked on our plant life cycles from my Work on Writing: Spring set and then I read them this awesome story. It is about a little girl named Rosie who lives under the shadow of a little girl named Violet. Violet was always better at EVERYTHING. Even the other students knew she was good at everything. (We had just finished speaking about #famouscanadians in class and the importance of being humble so this book was a beauty.) Rosie wasn't necessarily jealous, she was just sick of hearing about how good Violet was at everything because Violet bragged so much.
When their teacher told them they were going to grow plants, Rosie made a bad choice. She put soil over Violet's new plant growth because she was so upset with her. When Rosie noticed Violet was away that day and heard she was sick, she felt guilty. She knew just what to do. Rosie brushed the soil off of Violet's new plant growth and looked after Violet's plant while she was away. The teacher makes a point of telling the class how nice Rosie was to look after Violet's plant too. When Violet comes back to school, Violet thanks Rosie very quietly.
We discussed as a class why she would do it "privately" and we felt it was because if she thanked her in front of the class, she would be admitting that she was not the best at everything. It turns out, Rosie and Violet's plants were about the same size. Violet then bragged that at least hers was the sparkliest because she had a ribbon on hers.
What is unique about the ending is that after Violet says that, Rosie and her teacher smile at each other and that is the end. It shows that Rosie got enough satisfaction out of helping Violet and also from her teacher noticing that effort, that even though Violet still had to "win", really, it didn't matter. Rosie had already won because she was kind and it paid off in seeing Violet's plant grow and it made her teacher happy. All of this made Rosie happy.
After reading this book and having a very rich discussion students completed a little booklet to check their comprehension and writing reflections. First they put the events of the story in order.
Then students wrote their reflections about Rosie. They could write whatever they wanted. They could write about how they thought Rosie was feeling or they could about what they would do if they were Rosie. The reflections were very insightful.
Some of my students commented that they wanted Rosie and Violet to be friends after. We talked about how that doesn't always happen. Sometimes, people just won't get it. I explained that sometimes life is just like that. I think kids need to hear that, don't you?
If you want to try this strategy yourself, click HERE for a copy of my Rosie printable.
The link to the book is below.