Monday, July 18, 2011

What's your favorite "Back to School" activity? Linky Party

Chrysanthemum Big Book
      On the first day of school I love to read Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes.  Before school started for Chrysanthemum, she thought everything about her name was perfect.  But then on the first day, the other “mice” in her class start to make fun of her name.  They tease her and make Chrysanthemum feel so sad. 
       When we read this book, I ask one a student to come up, sit next to me, and hold a heart.  I tell the class that the heart represents how Chrysanthemum feels during the story.  Before Chrysanthemum starts school, she feels happy (her heart is not wrinkled).  While I am reading, the student wrinkles the heart up when Chrysanthemum’s feelings are hurt.  Every time someone says something nice to her, or tries to make her feel better, the student holding the heart flattens it out.  This is a great visual to show how peoples’ hearts break when their feelings are hurt.  In the end I show how the creases remain the same in the paper heart even after it is flattened out.   I leave this up all year long and refer to it whenever there is a similar situation happening in the classroom.

Please check out the rest of my blog... I am having a giveaway to win 3 units (in honor of my 3 year old's birthday!!)  You have until Sunday, July 31st to enter! :)

Linky Party is open through August 1st - Check out the amazing ideas from other teachers at Jodi's Fun in First Blog

PS - This is my first "Linky Party" participation... I hope I did it correctly!!!  



  1. Very neat visual way to relay a complex emotion! :)
    +Teaching Happily Ever After
    ~Creative Teaching with a Technology Twist~

  2. This is a great idea! I am going to try it this year! Thanks a bunch for sharing!

  3. We use Chrysanthemum also. We do several activities with the students' names. I really like the heart activity. I will be adding that to the lesson. Thanks for the idea.

  4. Thanks for linking up. You did it perfectly! Love the wrinkled heart idea.

  5. Stopping by through the link party! I also use Chrysanthemum, thanks for sharing your idea!

  6. We also do a "wrinkled heart" activity. I have two large red paper hearts hanging on the white board. I wrinked one up and we try to smooth out the wrinkles. They find out it is had to do. Then we write things on the wrinkled heart that would make someone feel bad. We write things on the smooth heart that would make someone feel good. Then I hang them side by side with a reminder: Before you speak think and be smart. It is hard to fix a wrinkled heart. (Not my original idea-got it from Proteacher last summer.)

  7. Love it. I will have to add it to my Chrysanthemum activity!

  8. I love this idea! What a very visual way to explain the importance of words.

  9. I love your idea with the heart because I'm always saying to the kids, "It hurts my heart when I see..." I think I'm going to have to use this! Thanks for the idea!
    Counting with Coffee

  10. I love this book---and this idea is a nice visual. I am going to have to add this to my unit ;)

    Mrs. Davis

  11. OMG!! I actually found this activity at the end of the year last year! We did it in class with EVERYONE having their own heart, and they wrinkled it and straightened it during the story. I had a little boy who lived with his grandma. He came to class the next day with the SWEETEST card for me!!

    Here's what it said...Thank you so much for teaching Zachary about kindness. He told his grandma that he was going to try REALLY hard in school not to wrinkle anybody's heart. She said she will never forget me for teaching this lesson on kindness on tems a Kindergartener could understand!

    I was just thrilled that he was actually able to tell her what he learned that day!! LOL!! =-)

  12. Very cute! I do something very similar except instead of using a paper heart, I have a paper chrysanthemum. We fold her each time her feelings get hurt. She stays up all year as a reminder. Afterwards, my students like to color their own Chrysanthemum. Thanks for sharing!

  13. I did this activity with my first graders yesterday and it went so well. I was shocked at how much better my students understood the lesson behind the story when we did the visual with the heart. So many times kids don't really get it. They are just told over and over to be nice. This truly made a difference! Thank you so much for sharing!