Friday, August 5, 2011

Adventures at Walnut Grove: A Lesson about Teasing

Treat others as you would like to be treated!

Lehman, Dana.
Adventures at Walnut Grove: A Lesson about Teasing.
June 2007.
Lehman Publishing.
Review copy provided courtesy of publisher.

Young children learn the important lesson of "treat others as you would like to be treated" with the help of author Dana Lehman and her characters, Sammy, Bucky, Rocky and Pokey. A simple game of baseball become heartbreaking for Sammy as he is called names by one of the other players. However, Sammy holds his voice and does not retaliate, rather choosing to remember the lesson he was previously taught. However, later on, when Bucky, the name caller, is on the receiving end of the teasing, he suddenly has an awakening of how Sammy must have felt to be called raccoon eyes and learns that ever so important lesson for himself, opting to apologize for the pain he inflicted upon Sammy and the pair learns to become friends and vow never to call anyone names again.

The story is incredibly well written and would be appropriate with young children, as it is simple, yet allows children to really connect through the text. At the end of the book, Lehman poses the reader with a set of questions to use when sharing the story with children. These questions will help ensure that the most is taken away from the story! This is definitely a story I will try to incorporate in my Head Start classroom this year, as though the children are young and don't often understand the feelings they inflict with their words, there is certainly an abundance of name calling... perhaps this will help them to understand how they would feel, as well as how others on the receiving end feel when called a name.

Learning/Reading Activity:
  • Have your child choose one of the topics below to journal about:
    * Pick a time you were teased or called a name. Describe that time and write about how that made you feel.
    * Create a poster that teaches the lesson "treat others as you wish to be treated."
    * What would you do if you saw someone being teased or called a name by another person?

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