Kindness Counts! Especially since it is the beginning of a new school year and we are working so hard to establish a positive and welcoming classroom climate that accepts all personalities and learning styles.
*Have any students who wear braces?
*Have any students who wear glasses?
*Have students who wear hand-me down clothes?
*Have students who are embarrassed about their looks?
*Have students who are chosen last on the playground or at gym?
*Have any girls who are already commenting on their weight?
*Have any students who you think will be teased or bullied for something???
*Have any students with an I.E.P.?
*Have any students who have freckles or look just plain "different"?
(Check for all of the above for my sweet kiddos this year!)
Then, RUN! (don't walk) to your nearest book store or library for this book: Don't Laugh At Me by Steve Seskin and Allen Shamblin. IT COMES WITH A CD!!!!
Not sure if it is worth the $19.95? Just listen to the video below.
Now that you have goosebumps and maybe even a tear (please tell us that we are not the only softies out there!!) you are ready to get the book and teach the lesson!
Here is how I used this book in my classroom:
First, I taught a mini-lesson about how good readers have vivid visualizations when they are reading.
If you teach younger students, I would read the lyrics aloud. Reread them. As you are reading them, have the students draw their visualizations. If you teach older students, pass out the lyrics and have them read independently or as a shared reading activity.
Let your kiddos use their crayons or markers and go to town!!!! Encourage them to go COLOR CRAZY to really illustrate their visualizations!
After we discussed THEIR visualizations, I introduced the book to them. As I read the story, I encouraged them pay attention to the words and their meaning. After reading "Dont Laugh at Me," we had a brief class discussion about the message of the book.
Some questions to ask:
-Why are the people in the story feeling pain?
-How do the words in the story relate to you?
-Have you ever felt the way the people mentioned in the song feel?
For the icing on the cake, I then played the video for them! They just loved it! :)