One of the value that the book ‘Chrysanthemum’ teaches in kindness. After reading the story, you can ask your children a series of questions to help them try think and put themselves in Chrysanthemum situation. This activity will help them develop empathy for others as well as understanding that being different is not a bad thing.
Talk about kindness
Through asking a series of questions that make your children think about Chrysanthemum’s predicament, you can help instil the value of kindness. Some questions you ask your children are:
Why did Chrysanthemum’s friends make fun of her?
How did that make her feel?
if you are in the same class as Chrysanthemum, what would you have said to her?
What can one do to help Chrysanthemum feel better?
Words can Hurt: Wrinkled Heart Activity
This activity is great to let your learn to understand that mean words can hurt someone's heart. Cut up a huge paper heart using construction paper. Read the book 'Chrysanthemum' by Kevin Henkes, make sure that it is not the first time you read the story to your children. For this activity It is best to read after you have previously discussed the book and the story line with your class and make sure that the children have understood the story.
Sit in a circle and pass the paper heart around. Every time a character said something mean to Chrysanthemum, let the children crushed their paper heart a little to represent the impact on mean words to someone's feeling. Every time her parents or someone said something kind, loving and comforting, the children have to smooth out the paper heart.
At the end of the story, compare a paper heart that was not wrinkled at all to the one that was passed around. This activity helps children understand that mean words and actions can be very hurtful and we need to be mindful of what we say so that we don't wrinkle someone's heart. You can also hang the wrinkled heart in your class to remind the children all year round to use kind words with one another.
Take Home Activity: All About My Name
Send a note home to encourage parents to talk to their children about their names; what the name means, who chose it, is there anyone else in the family with the same name, etc. I have made a printable for this that you can download and use. Let the children bring back the completed printable and share it with the class. Children love this as they can tell their own stories on how special their own names are. It is a social - emotional activity because it lets them learn more about themselves and appreciate their names more when they know some stories about it.
Click on the picture below to download the take-home activity printable.
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