Monday, September 19, 2016

Mindfulness Monday (Moody Cow)

Moody Cow Mediates by Kerry Les MacLean is a great book that I have been using with students from Pre-K through 5th grade.  Peter the cow, is having a bad day.  He missed the bus, crashes his bike and scrapes his knee.  He is so angry that he picks up a baseball and throws it through the window.  His grandfather uses a jar of glitter as a representation of Peter's anger and teaches Peter to settle his angry thoughts.  Grandfather uses a gong to start and end the meditation.  For school purposes I chose to change the word "mediation" to "mindfulness".  It works just as well and students are already familiar with mindfulness.  You can purchase Moody Cow Meditates HERE.


Gong sound effect on YouTube.

Lesson Plan (connects thoughts to feelings):  Moody Cow Mediates Lesson

Cow Feelings

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Elmer the Elephant

The school year is in full swing and I am excited to share some more fun lessons that I have been using. I started the year reading Elmer to all of my k-2 students.  This book was a big hit!
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Elmer is a cute story about an elephant who feels badly about his appearance.  He is the only elephant who isn't gray and he feels like the other elephants are laughing at him.  Elmer goes through great lengths to change his appearance but ends up discovering that his uniqueness is a good thing. Elmer's friends decide to celebrate Elmer's uniqueness with an Elmer's Day parade.

You can purchase Elmer HERE.  There are a ton of follow up books to Elmer and I just ordered Elmer's Special Day as a follow up story.
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How I used this book:  I read Elmer to students.  I asked students the following questions:  Did Elmer like himself in the beginning of story?  Why or Why not?  Did the other elephants like Elmer?  Why or Why not?  Why did Elmer want to look like the other elephants? Did Elmer like himself better once he looked like the other elephants?  Did the other elephants like Elmer better?  I then had each student share a few things that make him or her unique.  Each student was given an elephant (I printed from google images) to decorate in their own unique way.  I gave them the option of using dot markers, regular markers or scraps of paper. I then displayed the elephants on a bulletin board.  Here is my board halfway completed:
(I found this bulletin board idea on Pinterest and couldn't find the original source.  If you know who credit belongs to please let me know.)

Lesson Connections:
Celebrating Diversity with Elmer
Elmer Lesson Pack (With outlines of Elmer)