How Should You Treat Younger Children?

K, 1, 2

Students will hear a story that illustrates how a big sister feels about her baby brother. Lilly doesn't like her baby brother because he smells bad and isn't the playmate she thought he would be. She does everything in her creative power to ruin him. In the end, when a cousin agrees with Lilly, Lilly suddenly realizes that she loves Julius. Children will discuss how to treat younger children.

Lesson Rating 
PrintOne to Two Thirty-Minute Class Periods
The learner will:
  • identify and describe the behaviors of the characters.
  • discuss how younger children have different needs.
  • define philanthropy.
  • give examples of a family supporting each other.
  • Julius, Baby of the World by Kevin Henkes (see Bibliographical References)
  • Journals or paper
  • Henkes, Kevin. Julius, the Baby of the World. New York: Greenwillow Books, 1990. ISBN: 0688089437.


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Ask students who have younger brothers or sisters to talk about how they act. They may share experiences of when they were frustrated with their siblings and when they felt protective of them. Tell the class that you are going to read a story about a girl who has a baby brother. Say, "I wonder how she will handle having to get along with a new baby in the house?"

  2. Read the book to the class. Use a finger to run under the line being read and to point to key picture items.
  3. On selected pages, stop and encourage the children to interact with the book in the following ways:
    • Identify key items in the picture that will aid in listening comprehension.
    • Hypothesize about what may happen next, what the motives of characters might be, and why something is happening.
    • Label the feelings of the characters.
  4. Discuss how you should treat a younger child. How is a toddler or preschooler different than someone your own age? Have the students site examples of what Lilly did wrong, and what she should have done. How do her parents respond to her behavior?
  5. Older brothers and sisters are often asked to look after younger siblings when parents are busy. Is this a reasonable family expectation? Can this giving of time be considered an act of philanthropy? Discuss the definition of philanthropy. What benefits are there—for the individual, the family, and the "common good"—to looking after younger brothers and sisters?
  6. Often families, like schools, have rules about how children should act and what they should do to help out at home. Discuss how home and school rules are similar, yet different. Discuss appropriate rules for a family. Discuss possible consequences for breaking rules.
  7. Have each student draw a picture of his or her family helping or sharing something with each other. Display the pictures and discuss the different examples of families supporting each other.
  8. If your school has a preschool program or there are students in a younger grade, invite the younger students into the class to work on an art project. Pair each younger student with an older student. Discuss in advance what kind of behavior they should expect from the younger students and explain what their roles will be during the visit. Once the visit is concluded, discuss what happened and let students share their experiences.
Note and record as appropriate how children: discuss and label the feelings of the characters and relate the discussion to their own experiences. illustrate a way in which their families help each other. work with the younger children on an art project.
Cross Curriculum 
Students will invite younger schoolmates into the classroom and assist them with a simple artwork project.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.1 Define philanthropy as the giving and sharing of time, talent, or treasure intended for the common good.
    2. Standard DP 06. Role of Family in Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.2 Identify examples of families supporting giving and sharing.