Awareness, Respect for Others, Self-Esteem,
Created by Gayle Garafola-Sabbatini
Children will expand their critical thinking skills through questioning and participating in discussion. Students will gain a better understanding of sharing and giving of themselves selflessness. They will learn that all people are special because of individual differences multicultural awareness. Each student will achieve a better sense of self individuality and self-esteem. The class will reflect the lesson of respect and sharing through post-reading activity and their interactions with one another inside and outside of the classroom conflict resolution.
It is essential for students to think critically. It allows for a wide range of possibilities and a better understanding of different perspectives. A foundation of acceptance and respect for all people will contribute to a more peaceful and harmonious classroom, school, and society.
Pre-traced leaves, scissors, crayons, sparkle glue, magic markers, stickers, round mirror, stickers, chalk board, chalk, The First Forest book, and a partially pre-made, teacher-constructed, over-sized book cover using oak tag and brown, yellow, and green construction paper mounted on the trunk of a prefabricated, bare, full-sized gold tree. The book cover opens to reveal a mirror which will reflect each child when he or she is invited by the teacher to look behind the cover.
If classroom setting is appropriate, have children sit in a big circle on the floor. Have a short discussion on various differences and similarities among people. Briefly touch on the 3 basic needs to survive (food, clothing, shelter). Ask students questions about what they and others have in common with each other and what is unique to each. Explain that our uniqueness and diversity make the world so wonderful.
1. Hand out leaves. Children will have a
few minutes to cut out and decorate their own special
leaf. Have children write or print name on leaf with
marker and then go over with glitter glue, thus involving
all children in a hands-on exercise using fine motor
skills. Each leaf will represent the child who created
it. Leaves will be collected before story begins.
After story is read, ask questions: Can
you tell me one thing about The First Forest?
Try to get all children involved, keeping questions
open-ended and easy to answer. Always give positive
feedback to all students who participate. This will
encourage risk-taking in the future and will stimulate
thinking skills. If there are no volunteers, use guided
questions such as: What type of trees were in The
First Forest? Children will share: multi-colored,
tall, short, wide, skinny? What do trees need to grow?
What do people need?
Hand back their decorated leaves
one row at a time. Then invite each student to place his
or her leaf on the special First Forest tree.
Having the children create something beautiful and share
it by placing it on the bare tree reinforces the
giving of ourselves in our individual
uniqueness concept we are teaching. Everyone in this
class has created this unique tree by making and sharing
very special leaves for it to wear. Everyone in this
class has shared his or her special talents and
uniqueness to create an image of sharing for everyone in
the world to see in this glorious tree. When you love and
share with one another, magical things happen. Tell the
children, Close your eyes and count to five.
This gets them curious and excited about what may happen
Finish the lesson with the children
listening to the musical version of The First Forest
with the author reading and the story retold in song to
reinforce the lessons already discussed.
Narrative/Musical Programs from Other Schools
Music teachers have used The First Forest in school musical productions with students alternately reading sections of the story and then singing appropriate songs selected by the music teacher. For example, songs interspersed with readings from the book at one school program included: The Little Tree; Song for Beginnings; Sing a Little Sunshine; Hello, I'm Me; Best Friends; Flowers Won't Grow; It's Alright to Cry; Take Time; The Leaves' Party; Garden Song; Rainbow Day.
(I am grateful to Gayle Garafola for her
generosity in sharing her ideas with other teachers. If
you present The First Forest or Oh,
How I Wished I Could Read! and What Is That
Thing? Whose Stuff Is This? as class or
school narrative/musical productions, please send me an
invitation. Even if I cannot attend, I would like to send
a note of appreciation to your students for their
efforts. John Gile)
Copyright 2010 by JGC/United Publishing, 815.968.6601. All rights reserved. Revised: January 21, 2010