I Am a Star
  1. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark E.1 Define the word <em>trust</em> and its role in all communities.
    2. Standard PCS 02. Diverse Cultures
      1. Benchmark E.2 Discuss the importance of respect for others.
  2. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 03. Providing Service
      1. Benchmark E.1 Provide a needed service.

Students will investigate their unique qualities and will demonstrate in song, movement and voice that we are all stars.

Duration: 
PrintFive Forty-Minute Class Periods (additional time needed for presentations)
Objectives: 

The learners will:

  • make and illustrate a paper star.
  • write about what makes him or her unique.
  • recognize and respect the unique qualities of others.
  • rewrite a story as a “readers’ theatre.”
  • make up motions/signs to go with a song about being unique.
  • present to school (or community) a program to encourage others to respect uniqueness.
Materials: 
  • Book: A Unicorn Named Beulah Mae by J.H. Stroschin (See Bibliographical References)
  • Recording and lyrics: “Say You, Say Me” by Lionel Ritchie or other song about being unique. (One line in his song is “Believe in who you are. You are a shining star.”)
  • A completed five-point star decorated beautifully or made out of unusual paper—find directions for star at: http://www.highhopes.com/5pointstar.html
  • Directions for cutting and folding the star from the Internet
  • Square (8”x 8” or smaller) sheets of paper and scissors for each student
  • Crayons/markers/colored pencils
  • Chart paper
  • Student journals
Home Connection: 

Interactive Parent / Student Homework:Give the homework assignment of writing about their unique qualities in an essay form. Encourage students to get help from their parents and family members in thinking of their talents, gifts, qualities and strengths. The essay is titled, “I Am Uniquely Me.”

Bibliography: 

“Say You, Say Me,” Lionel Ritchie. Truly: the Love Songs. Motown Record Company L.P., A PolyGram Company, 1997. ASIN: B000001AO6

Stroschin, J.H. A Unicorn Named Beulah Mae. Fremont, Michigan: Henry Quill Press, 1996. ISBN: 1883960142

5 Point Star Paper Relief – http://www.highhopes.com/5pointstar.html

Instructions: 
Print
  1. Anticipatory Set:Set the stage for the upcoming activities about uniqueness by dramatically opening the unique star (prepared in advance) and telling the students that they are all “stars.”

  2. Read aloud the book, A Unicorn Named Beulah Mae (see Bibliographical References). After you are done with the book, have the students recall the chant made by Melvin the Wizard as you write it on a chart. “You are a beauty. You have special gifts too. Love who you are. You are uniquely you.”

    Over two or three days, the student groups will complete their writing and practice the reading of their readers’ theatre. If a group is having trouble completing its work, you may wish to bring in adult or peer mediators to assist with decision-making and teamwork. When the groups are ready to perform their readings and the whole-class song with movements, schedule a production time. Invite other classes and families to a production. As an alternative, send each group to a different class to perform.

  3. Demonstrate how to fold the five-point star (see Bibliographical References). Practice making the star before the lesson so you are comfortable with the process when you demonstrate.

  4. ​Set up five or six areas with scissors, 8”x 8” white paper and crayons, markers or colored pencils. (You may want adult helpers for each area.) For each group, provide a copy of the directions for making the five-point star.

  5. Each student folds and cuts a star. They decorate their stars with colorful or interesting patterns. Display the stars on the bulletin board or hang from the ceiling. Label the display “Our ‘Star Qualities’.”

  6. ​Meet as a whole group to discuss star qualities. List on chart paper words that describe people. Encourage them to keep the descriptions positive: quiet, loud, artistic, athletic, good reader, dark hair, etc. Avoid judgmental words such as noisy, bossy and ugly. Help them to discover that the world is a better place because we are each unique with different strengths, appearances and skills. Talk about the importance of respecting others who are different.

  7. ​Talk about the importance of trust within the classroom community. Discuss how trust is earned and kept. Discuss how trust allows people to take risks. Discuss the benefits of taking risks.

  8. ​Students write in their journals about their own perceptions of themselves. Encourage them to write as many words that describe the appearance, skills, habits, gifts and personality as they can. Let them know that they do not need to share these thoughts with anyone else. If students trust each other, they may wish to share and celebrate their strengths with each other.

  9. ​Review the story elements of the book, A Unicorn Named Beulah Mae. Remind the students of how to write a readers’ theatre script from a piece of literature. (Rewriting the book as purely dialogue, cutting out some parts and maintaining some of the language of the author.)

  10. ​Divide the class into smaller groups for the collaborative writing assignment. See Attachment One: Readers’ Theatre. In their productions, they want their audience to feel empowered by the message that each of them is unique.

  11. Play the music for “Say You, Say Me” by Lionel Ritchie (or another song about being unique). Teach the lyrics and have the students help you come up with body and hand movements to go along with the song. Practice the song and movements over several days. (While students are working on their presentations, play the music so they can learn it.)

  12. Over two or three days, the student groups will complete their writing and practice the reading of their readers’ theatre. If a group is having trouble completing its work, you may wish to bring in adult or peer mediators to assist with decision-making and teamwork. When the groups are ready to perform their readings and the whole-class song with movements, schedule a production time. Invite other classes and families to a production. As an alternative, send each group to a different class to perform.

Assessment: 

Students self-assess their teamwork.. See Attachment Two: Self and Group Evaluation. Observe attitudes and behaviors for understanding of the importance of valuing their own and each other’s unique qualities Assess each group as they perform their Readers’ Theatre using the following rubric:

Rubric: (Give points for each area according to the descriptions. 16 points possible)

Voice and Clarity

3. Entire skit was clear, concise and well articulated. (Easy to understand)

2. Most of the skit was clear, concise and well articulated.

1. Little of the skit was clear, concise or well articulated. (Hard to understand)

Character Development

3. Students used tone, expression and movement to portray characters.

2. Students used some expression and movement to portray characters.

1. Students did not develop characters through expression and movement.

Originality

3. The skit is based on the story but students added creativity and personality.

2. The skit is based on the story and students use a few of their own ideas.

1. Students have not expressed the meaning of the skit through their actions.

Over-all Presentation

3. All story elements included and all students participated to the best of their ability.

2. Most story elements included and students participated with moderate enthusiasm.

1. Important story elements missing and little enthusiasm for performing in evidence.

Cooperative Teamwork

3. Students made decisions as a team and worked together efficiently and cooperatively.

2. Students made decisions and worked together to complete the project with some difficulty.

1. Students struggled to work together and needed adult supervision to make decisions.