Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Each Kindness {Freebie}

Each Kindness is a gem.  It tells the story of a young girl who learns the importance of her actions.  It sends a simple, yet powerful message that readers are unlikely to forget.  While this story doesn't have a traditional happy ending, it can open the door to a thoughtful classroom discussion about friendship and kindness.

Click here to visit J. Woodson's website.
Reading Level: 2.7
Interest Level:  Elementary
Themes:  Kindness, Friendship, Bullying

Chloe and her friends won't play with the new girl, Maya.  Every time Maya tries to join Chloe's group of friends, they reject her.  Eventually, Maya plays alone, and then stops coming to school altogether.  When Chloe's teacher gives a lesson about how even small acts of kindness can change the world, Chloe is stung by the lost opportunity for friendship.

Click here to visit illustrator, E.B. Lewis's, website

Discussion Questions:  
  • Who is Maya?  What clues does the text reveal about Maya’s personality? 
  • Examine the illustrations in the book. What is Maya doing in each picture?  
  • What can we learn from Maya's actions? 
  • What happened to Maya at the end of the story? 
  • Where do you think she went?  Why?  What clues in the text helped you?
  • How does Chloe feel at the end of the story?  What clues in the text helped you?  
  • How could Chloe have changed the outcome of this story?  Why do you think that?

Compare and Contrast:  After reading Each Kindness, read The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes.  Guide students as they compare and contrast the two books.  
  • In what ways are the characters of these two stories alike? different?
  • Why do you think the characters act the way they do? 
  • What did Wanda and Maya do to deserve the treatment they received? 
  • What are the lessons we can learn from each book? 
Click on the image to download this Venn Diagram {Freebie}.
Graphics & Fonts by Melonheadz, Creative Clips, KG Fonts

Write a New Ending:   Think about how the outcome of the story would have changed if Chloe had chosen to show Maya kindness. Rewrite the story with a happier ending.

Letter Writing:  Write a letter to a friend.  Tell him/her all the reasons why you think they are special.

Journal Writing:  Write about a time when you did something you regretted. What happened?  What made you act that way?  How did you know it was wrong?  How did your actions make you feel?  What were the consequences?  Do you think that experience will change your future actions?

Make a Personal Connection:  How do you feel about meeting new students and making new friends?  Do you worry about what others might think of your friendships?  How would you feel if you tried to be friends with someone and they ignored you?

Make Ripples in Your Classroom:  Chloe’s teacher throws a rock in water, and says, "Each little thing we do goes out, like a ripple, into the world.”  Create a bulletin board with a large pond on it.  Each time a student is "caught" in an act of kindness, ask him/her to write the action on a paper rock and attach it to the pond.

Make Ripples in Your School or Community:  Challenge students to continue to spread ripples of kindness throughout their school and community.  Participate in No Name Calling Week in January or Random Acts of Kindness Week in February.

If you haven't read this book yet, what are you waiting for?  ;)  Hurry out and get yourself a copy.

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  1. I just picked this book up yesterday at Ollie's, and as I was perusing posts on Bloglovin, I caught this one! I am so excited to use your ideas. (big smile) Thanks for sharing...it's a beautiful book to use in conjunction with Bully by Patricia Polacco. Compare/contrast possibly!

    1. Carla, I am running out to Ollie's to look for Each Kindness. I borrow it from the library when I need it, since I don't own it yet. Thanks for the tip!

    2. I figured out I can copy/paste your great ideas into Word and save them for when I teach this book later. :-) I am heading over there in a bit to grab two that Wendy mentioned in her writing post today. They're great bargains, but if Joe knew how much I drop on books there...ugh! ;-)