Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Book 7: Great Joy

Today, my students got to read the story Great Joy by Kate DiCamillo.  I just love all of her books, as I think she has such a way of getting to the heart of characters, and pointing out what is truly important in life.  (Some of my very favorites - The Incredible Journey of Edward Tulane, Because of Winn Dixie and The Tale of Despereaux.)  This short picture book was no different.  A girl named Frances has a hard time feeling the joy of Christmas until she is sure that the man on the corner is happy, too.  I thought it was a great book to talk about the joy of doing for others, and being kind to strangers.

I had to be absent in the afternoon, so my wonderful co-worker and friend, Mrs. Saunders, read this story to my class.  I can't wait to hear how the discussion went!

I plan on adding this story starter to my writing center tomorrow.  I usually laminate and hang them with a magnet from the metal writing center shelf. 

I want to do a service project with my class,  and I think this would be a great intro. to that.  During our class meeting on Friday, we are going to brainstorm random acts of kindness we can perform as a class, and choose one.  It will have to be small this year - something we can do for staff members or students. 

Some ideas I already have
  • surprise a class with a quarter for everyone on popcorn day
  • an anonymous letter to someone who works hard for us, letting them know how much we appreciate him/her
  • Sharpen a set of pencils for another teacher's classroom, and leave them ready to go for the next day (Wow, would I love getting that one!)

** I would like to plan ahead better, and do something bigger with next year's class.  My son's class makes fleece tie blankets every year as a gift to a shelter.  I love this idea because it is easy for kids, and useful to someone else.  Parents do have to donate the fleece, though.  I bought two yards at Walmart and it cost about $10.00.  It might be do-able with donations or doing a project to earn money. 

That's it for today's ideas! Do you have some more ideas, or better ideas for random acts of kindness in a school setting?  Things kids can do??  I would love to hear your ideas!



  1. I love this book!! I'm glad you posted it, because it reminds me that I have not read it to my kids yet!

  2. It's so sweet, isn't it? Thanks for commenting, Casey. :-)