Sunday, 16 September 2012

Creating Classroom Community

We have been working very hard this week getting back into the swing of things. I decided to read the story, Finding the Green Stone by Alice Walker. A friend of mine shared this "gem" of a story with me. I enjoy using this picture book to discuss themes such as inner happiness, values and self-fulfillment. It's a wonderful story that helps build classroom community. Students begin to realize that each of them holds the power to be positive, contributing in ways to make our classroom peaceful and happy.
After discussing several ideas about the author's message or purpose, I have students close their eyes and I walk around quietly giving each of them a green stone made of glass. We talk about what the stone represents and what we have to do in our classroom to ensure it remains bright and shiny. I have students create a web of ideas showing how they will keep their green stone, a shining one. We will continue to add to this as the year progress. 
Next, my plan is to have students write about a time when their green stone was shining - meaning when they have felt very happy. Or they may choose to write about a time when they may have lost their green stone - meaning they made a mistake or made a bad choice. There are many possibilities. 

What picture books do you like to use to help build classroom community? I'd love to hear your ideas!

1 comment:

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