Sharing the Gift of Generosity and Understanding

Over the years and as the holidays approach, I have typically created a paper chain for elementary children to patiently count down the days, as we cut off one link a day, sharing in the joy of the season. However, this year, a new idea popped up in my semi-retired teacher brain. I can’t wait to try this and see how it impacts my students! Maybe you’d like to try this as well, in some way for a classroom setting, or within a family.

As I am in a supportive role in two schools this year, I have not requested books from my local library in time because, honestly, I only need a few this year. Most of the fun holiday books I usually reserve have already  been put on hold by other teachers, and although I was a tad disappointed, I realized they probably need them more than I do.

Then I thought, “Maybe I could do something different, especially for my kindergarten class?” Many of them are excited to share ‘Santa will bring me a new bike, or a pretty doll or the newest Nintendo game system,’ or whatever their little hearts desire. And yet, I know several families that have lost loved ones this year, and in one case, I know of a boy who was seriously injured and is in recovery.

Since my heart has been saddened by these events, why not use this time to read aloud books that will encourage children to become more other directed? Perhaps we could have some conversations about being more  generous, empathetic, understanding, and just kind to others.

And then, simply because I forgot a the book I wanted to read to my kindergarten class last week, a child suggested we read Barney Saltzberg’s Crazy Hair Day.

What a perfect book to start with! You see Stanley was so excited that it was Crazy Hair Day until he arrived in school to find out that it was really School Picture Day. The way his classmates thought of him, and encouraged his heart is so endearing and has already started some good conversations about helping others.

To date I plan on reading these sweet stories:

A Chair for My Mother

The Invisible Boy

The Carpenter’s Gift: A Christmas Tale about the Rockefeller Christmas Center Tree

If you need some more ideas, your local librarian can help you find similar books, and that is my intention as well. Also, a friend posted this on Facebook this week, and I thought that it was pretty timely:

Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar

As I close for today, I wonder if you are interested in entering my Kitty Caption Contest?
What a great time to win a children’s picture book for young child, right? Written in rhyming text by a semi-retired teacher my books are great for children learning early reading skills, and they will be enchanted by the adorable photographs of the water loving cat. Give the gift of reading!!

You have one more week left to enter to win one of my books for free at Barb’s Books !

Also, I’m thrilled to share that there is an update to this post now. Click on Part Two

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