Students participate in a shared-reading experience of a literature book that illustrates the importance of feeling like an important member of the community within a family. In this story, the middle child feels left out. The child tries to get attention by being extremely noisy. When that doesn't work, she leaves. Her family notices how quiet it is and realizes how much she means to them.
The learner will:
- identify and describe the behaviors and feelings of the characters.
- identify family as a type of community in which people support each other and share with each other.
- define trust and recognize the importance of feeling trusted and important.
- Noisy Nora by Rosemary Wells (see Bibliographical References)
- Journals or paper
Have the students interview the members of their family about their birth order (oldest, middle, youngest). Students write or dictate how each person feels about where he or she falls in the family. They should include themselves and their parents/guardians. (See Handout One: How Do You Feel About Your Place in the Family?)
Blume, Judy. The One in the Middle Is the Green Kangaroo. New York: Dell Publishing, 1981. ISBN: 0440467314.
Wells, Rosemary. Noisy Nora. New York: Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers, 1997. ISBN: 0803718357.
Ask the students who are "middle children" in their families to tell the class one good thing and one bad thing about being in the middle of other siblings. You may also ask the oldest and youngest to share their impressions, too.
Teacher Note: Be sensitive to varied family structures when discussing family / household.
Read book to the class. Run your finger under the text and invite the students to join in on the repeated lines.
On selected pages, stop and encourage the children to interact with the book in the following ways:
- Identify key items in the pictures that will aid in listening comprehension.
- Hypothesize about what may happen next, what motives of characters might be, and why something is happening.
- Label the feelings of the characters.
- Discuss how Nora handles her problem.
Ask the children if they have brothers or sisters. Do any of the students or their siblings sometimes feel like Nora? Talk about how important it is for family members to get along and try to help each other. Do the students feel that Nora did a good job of handling her problem? Are there other techniques Nora could have used that might have made her feel better about her place in the family?
Review with the students what a community is and identify family as a type of community in which people support each other and share with each other. Ask students to give examples from the book and their own families of support and sharing.
Define trust and recognize the importance of feeling trusted and important. Provide scenarios for the students to role-play in which students earn trust and feel important: one student helps another learn to roller skate; student asks a group of students if he or she may join a game of hopscotch; a group of students welcome a new student to the classroom; a new student needs to learn the class routine; someone observes a child being teased; your brother gets a bad grade and asks you not to tell anyone about it; and, your sister needs help getting a heavy box off a shelf. Discuss the feelings of the participants in the role-plays.
Have students write about how they get attention in their families.
Introduce the experiential component.
Note and record as necessary how children:
Discuss and label the feelings of the characters.
Participate in the role-playing and discussion.
Draw their families and think of appropriate ways to give and share.
Each student should draw and label a picture of the members of his or her family. On a separate sheet, the student should write or dictate a list of things he or she can do for each person in the family. The list should involve sharing time, talent, or treasures with family members. The activities should be realistic things that the student can actually do and within a reasonable amount of time.
Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
Standard DP 06. Role of Family in Philanthropy
Benchmark E.2 Identify examples of families supporting giving and sharing.
Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
Benchmark E.1 Define the word <em>trust</em> and its role in all communities.