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Beautiful Beautiful Deeds
4, 3, 2, 1
By – Nan Ray
To help students understand that when they are kind to people, it makes other people appreciative and makes the ‘good deed doer’ understand how helping others can make everyone involved feel good.
For the teacher:
Copy of the book, Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed , by Emily Pearson
OR, a book that you prefer that discusses kindness and being good to one another. There are many good ‘winter holiday’ books that do not include religious holiday beliefs. This is an excellent way to incorporate a ‘kindness’ lesson and ‘spirit-of-the-giving-season’ lesson.
Jar of buttons, various sizes and shapes and colors – with holes (not brass extensions).
Embroidery needle – blunted end – with about 1.5 yards of quilting string.
For the students:
Classroom set of People Holding Hands® – one set for each group (Optional Activity)
Take the time to ‘start’ the Good Deed Necklace by putting on one button, about 5 inches from the end, and knotting it in place so that it forms the foundation for the necklace.
1. Introduce the book, Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed, by Emily Pearson (or the book you have selected.)
2. Read aloud Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed to the children – utilize the beautiful pictures for the younger children. After reading the story, discuss the following key points with the children, including examples from the story:
- It is nice to be kind to other people.
- Sometimes neighbors and classmates don’t have anyone to do nice things for them. You can make someone’s day just by offering a kind word or doing something nice for someone.
- If you do something nice for someone, do you think that they are more likely to do something nice for someone else? Sure they are.
3. Making a GOOD DEED necklace.
- Ask students to line up by the button jar.
- Allow each student to select a button that he/she really likes from the button jar.
- Then, ask the students to stand in a circle.
- Ask for a volunteer to go first. Ask that student to think of one good deed that they could do for someone in the classroom or at school or at lunch.
- After the student tells everyone the good deed, he/she sews the button on the necklace by lacing it through 2 button holes and pushing it to meet the first button.
- The next student in the circle must say, “If Jill (the person that told her good deed) did (recite the good deed Jill stated), then I would pass along the good deed by…(state another good deed)…for the next person in the circle. He/she then sews on the next button.
- Then the next person repeats it. “If John did_________ for me, then I would (good deed here)_________for (the next person in the circle).
- This continues until everyone has a turn stating a good deed. OR, if the circle gets stuck for ideas, you simply start over or have the teacher throw in a good deed to get it going again.
4. Finally, you have a wonderfully creative, diverse necklace of “Beautiful, Beautiful Deeds.”
NOW, whenever a student does a good deed, or is kind to someone, that student gets to wear the Beautiful, Beautiful Deed necklace for that period or day.
1. Divide the students into groups of 4. Give each group a set of People Holding Hands® characters.
2. Provide each group a scenario where a good deed would really be appreciated. Here are a few examples:
- An elderly neighbor, who does not drive, is snowed in for several days.
- Your neighbor, who is only 8 years old, cannot seem to get his key in the door after the bus dropped him home from school. He appears locked out.
- The new kid in school looks lost.
- One of the kids in your school does not have a coat. He gets really cold when the wind picks up and he has to stand outside.
Ask the students to write a script, practice and present it. Remind them to include: scenario, creative solution ideas, and good deed suggestions.
Provide scenarios that may help a situation you are having or may tie into the skill lesson you are teaching. The options are endless.
*This is an excellent exercise to do near the holidays because it promotes goodwill, giving, appreciation and selflessness. It is also great at the beginning of the school year. Kids get to know one another and this exercise promotes kindness, acceptance, and cooperation throughout the year by rewarding the ‘wearer’ with a day of personal celebration for all the world to see.*
LET’S HOLD HANDS®
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