I had just placed what I promised myself to be my last Amazon order for the month, when I came across Barb's post and decided this was a book I had to use with my kids this year: http://www.gradeonederful.com . I have looped with a group before and although there are many great things about having the same kids, one drawback is how comfortable they are with each other. They start squabbling a lot--like siblings. So I knew I wanted to start the year with lots of community-building activities.
We read the story and we watched this video:
an idea inspired from Terri over at Engage Their Minds (again!) :http://engagetheirminds.wordpress.com
Now if I'm being perfectly honest, the end-product did not match what I had envisioned in my head. However, I do think they got the point. The funniest part was, I read the story aloud and had maybe 2 pages left when the fire drill went off. Most of the kids who were complaining were bothered by the loud noise, the heat--my kids, they were complaining because "we were about to get to the best part!". Gotta love 'em.
Well, after the story and discussion, the students used yarn to simulate ripples and wrote between each one something kind that can spur on another kindness. Here are a few of their end results: