Feeling Alone

K, 1, 2

Students sequence the story of Carly. They view the "How Does It Feel?" poster and discuss their interpretation of its message. Students listen and respond to the true story of a reugee girl in the book The Whispering Cloth.

PrintTwo 20-30 Minute Class Sessions

The learner will:

  • interpret a visual representation of loneliness and isolation.
  • describe and formulate connections with a refugeeā€™s feelings of loneliness, isolation and rejection.
  • define philanthropy and cite examples from the Carly video.
  • summarize what it means to be a refugee.
  • respond to a true story about a refugee child.
Teacher Preparation 

Display LEGO Poster: How Does it Feel? 

  • alone: being without anyone or anything else
  • philanthropy: the giving of one's time, talent or treasure for the sake of another- or for the common good
  • Shea, Pegi Deitz. The Whispering Cloth Boyds Mills Pr (October 1996) ISBN-10: 1563976234 ISBN-13: 978-1563976230


  1. SessionOne

    Anticipatory Set:

    Ask the children to think about a time when they were all alone with no friends or family nearby. How did they feel?

  2. Show the UNHCR poster "How Does It Feel?" Ask the students what story they think the poster is telling.

  3. Remind the students of "Carly," the story of a refugee who was forced to leave her home. Ask: In what ways are the poster's story and the story of Carly the same? Different? Guide the students' discussion to a realization that both Carly and the poster are communicating what it feels like to be alone. Encourage the students to describe what it feels like to be alone (such as scared, lonely, afraid, sad) and list the words on a chart.

  4. Help the students recall the groups Carly metand why they didn't want her to be part of their groups (the Stone-eaters, Silk-tails and Smokey-crows thought she was strange and different; the other people didn't want to share what they had).

  5. Ask the students to recall what happened when Carly met Mr. Friendly. (He shared his food and invited her to stay with his family.)

  6. When Carly asked Mr. Friendly "Who are you?" and he responded, "Mr. Friendly." Carly said, "Oh, Is that what people are called who are kind to others? "Remind the students that a person who is kind to others by giving their time, talent, or treasure (possessions or money) is called a philanthropist.

  7. Ask: What kind acts did Mr. Friendly do for Carly? (shared his cheese sandwich, noticed she looked hungry and tired, offered a place to rest that was dry and warm, invited her to stay). What additional acts of kindness or philanthropy do you think Mr. Friendly might do for Carly in the next few days?

  8. Ask: Do you think there might be a time when some of the children at our school feel left out? When and where might that happen? How could you be a philanthropist like Mr Friendly and help someone who looks lonely or left out?

  9. Session Two

    Anticipatory Set

    Tell the children that there are many ways to tell a story. They have already viewed a video that tells the story of Carly, a refugee, and they have viewed a poster that tells the story of someone feeling alone and left out. Another way to tell a story is to create a story quilt with pictures that tell the story sewn on cloth. Oneof the traditions of story telling in the United States is to tell their stories by making quilts. People in many other nations around the world also tell stories on cloth, many of which are meant to be displayed on walls, not used on beds.

  10. Show the book The Whispering Cloth and read the title. Tell the students that the story is a true story about a refugee girl named Mai. Mai and her gradnmother were forced to leave their home in Laos and now live in a refugee camp in Thailand. (Show Laos and Thailand on a map or globe.) Explain that the word "pa'ndau" means "flowery cloth" or a cloth picture story meant to be hung on a wall.

  11. Read the book aloud, stopping to compare and contrast how Mai's experience and Carly's experiences are the same and/or different. Encourage the students to use the vocabulary words refugee and philanthropy as appropriate to the discussion.

  12. After reading the story, guide the children in reflecting on the story with these questions:

    • Why was Mai hoping her pa'ndau would sell for a good price? What do you think she and her grandmother were saving money for?
    • Why did her grandmother say the story cloth was not finished with Mai living in the refugee camp? What did the stream running under the barbed wire help Mai think about?
    • What did it mean when the grandmother said, "The pa'ndau tells me it is not for sale?"
  13. Ask the students to think about their own life stories. Distribute large drawing paper and have them fold it into four sections. Explain that in the first section they should draw a picture of their birth, in the second a picture of something they remember from before they entered school, in the third section a picture of something from the present time, and in the fourth section a picture of something they hope will happen in the future. If grade appropriate, ask the students to write one sentence to describe each picture in their life story. (This drawing project may be completed over several days during the student's "free" time.) Allow volunteers to share their stories with the class or allow time for them to share with a small group of peers.


Assess student participation in response to the poster and book during discussions. Did they understand and empathize with feelings of isolation?

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. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.1 Describe one reason why a person might give or volunteer.