Service – Good People Everywhere

SERVICE is giving to others and looking for ways to be helpful instead of waiting to be asked.

You are practicing service when you do your part to care for the earth, people or the environment, and you don’t wait to be asked when something needs to be done.

How can we be of service to our friends and family?

(Adapted from the Virtues Project)

1. Opening Activities

Songs: The animal boogie (Barefoot Books) and Walking through the jungle (Barefoot Books)

Yoga: Simple kids yoga inspired by Super Stretch Yoga (2-3 poses and breathing exercises)

2. Virtue introduction and examples

Welcome song: Who’s at Virtues in the Village today?

3. Story: Good People Everywhere, by Lynea Gillen

Reading: This is a story about the people in our neighborhood, and some of the great service they do.

Discussion: Who was in the story? Where did the story happen? The book ends with a question of what we will be doing today, so let’s think about our answer.

4. Craft: ‘What I will do this week cards’ – after talking about the great acts of service we will be doing this week, we will draw an outline of our hand on paper folded in half, and inside it write or draw some of the great things we will be doing this week.

5. Practice activity:  After drawing our service activity on our cards, we will take turns and with our grown-up first show everyone else the card, then act out the activity for others to guess (similar to charades, but with help from the grown-ups and the visual aid of the drawing).

6. Closing activities:

Song: I think you’re wonderful, by Red Grammer

Snack

Diligence – The Tortoise and the Hare

DILIGENCE is working hard and doing the best you possibly can. When you are diligent you do things carefully, step by step and don’t give up.

You practice diligence by deciding what you can do, then giving it all you have to give. You treat each action as important and do things carefully, one step at a time. Diligence takes patience.

Without diligence people act lazy and don’t get much done.

(Definition adapted from The Virtues Project)

1. Opening activities:

Songs: If you’re happy and you know it and Walking Through the Jungle (Barefoot Books)

Yoga: Simple kids yoga inspired by Yoga Pretzels or Super Stretch Yoga (2-3 poses and breathing exercises)

2. Virtue description and examples

Song: Who’s at Virtues in the Village today?

3. Story: The Tortoise and the Hare An Aesop Fable (Reading Rainbow Books) by Janet Stevens

This is a story of a tortoise and a hare – one of them is very diligent, after we’ve finished reading I’ll ask you which one.

4. Craft: Tortoise head band, made of pre-cut paper shapes for the band, tortoise face, legs and tail. These are colored in by the kids, then attached by the grow ups with tape or staplers. See pictures below.

5. Practice activity: we put on our tortoise headbands and pretend to be tortoises. We practice diligence by holding hands, making our way through the racetrack, steadily and step and step. One grown up hare runs the racetrack, but keeps getting distracted and lazy. The other parents cheer on the tortoises and remind them to be diligent.

6. Closing activities:

Songs: The animal boogie (Barefoot Books) and I think you’re wonderful (by Red Grammer)

Parachute play

Snack

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Compassion – Knuffle Bunny Free

COMPASSION is caring and wanting to help someone who is hurt or troubled, even when you don’t know them.

Compassion begins by noticing when someone seems sad or upset. Put yourself in their place and ask how you would feel if it were happening to you. Think about how you can help.

(Adapted from the Virtues Project)

1. Opening activities:

Songs: If you’re happy and you know it and Walking Through the Jungle (Barefoot Books)

Yoga: Simple kids yoga inspired by Yoga Pretzels or Super Stretch Yoga (2-3 poses and breathing exercises)

2. Virtue description and examples

Song: Who’s at Virtues in the Village today?

3. Story:

This is a story of a Trixie and her favorite toy, Knuffle Bunny. Let’s look out for examples of compassion.

4. Craft: mini paper puppets of Trixie or ourselves on a stick to allow us to play/act out the story.

5. Practice activity: using our puppets, we will make up our own stories of compassion (in pairs or with a grown-up)

6. Closing activities:

Songs: The animal boogie (Barefoot Books) and I think you’re wonderful (by Red Grammer)

Snack

Faces on paper or egg carton, attached to sticks to make puppets

Faces on paper or egg carton, attached to sticks to make puppets

Generosity – Should I Share My Ice Cream? (An Elephant and Piggie Book)

GENEROSITY is giving and sharing. It is one of the best ways to show love and friendship.

When you are generous, you think of ways to share what you have. You can practice generosity by sharing your favorite toy or helping those in need. How else can you practice generosity?

(Adapted from the Virtues Project)

1. Opening activities:

Songs: If you’re happy and you know it and Walking Through the Jungle (Barefoot Books)

Yoga: Simple kids yoga inspired by Yoga Pretzels or Super Stretch Yoga (2-3 poses and breathing exercises)

2. Virtue description and examples

Song: Who’s at Virtues in the Village today?

3. Story: Should I share my ice cream? by Mo Willems

This is a story of an elephant and a piggie who are generous friends.

4. Craft: decorated paper ice cream cones with a balloon ice cream scoop. The cones are pre-cut from a brown paper shopping bag (first cut out big circles, then cut circles in half, finally cut off about one 5th of the semi-circle to get the template for the cone). Let the kids pick their ice cream flavor by picking a color balloon. Blow the balloon slightly so it fits in the cone, then close the cone around the balloon and attach with tape. The ice cream scoops can also be tissue paper.

5. Practice activity: we will practice generosity by sharing our ice cream cone with our friend.

6. Closing activities:

Songs: The animal boogie (Barefoot Books) and I think you’re wonderful (by Red Grammer)

Snack

Balloon & paper ice cream in cone

Purposefulness – The Snail and the Whale

PURPOSEFULNESS (or being purposeful) is knowing exactly what needs to be done, and then doing it.

You are purposeful when you have a clear goal/purpose, focus on it and do one thing at a time without getting distracted.

(Adapted from the Virtues Project)

1. Opening activities:

Songs: If you’re happy and you know it and The animal boogie (Barefoot Books)

Yoga: Simple kids breathing exercises/yoga inspired by Yoga Pretzels: bunny breath, bumblebee breath and snake breath

2. Virtue description and examples

Song: Who’s at Virtues in the Village today?

3. Story: The snail and the whale, by Julia Donaldson

This is a story of a little snail and a big whale. It’s a story that reminds us no matter how small we are, if we have a purpose and try hard we can do BIG things.

Discussion points: what was the snail’s purpose?

4. Craft: snail paper puppets made out of paper plates – first colored in, then cut (by a grown up) and attached to a stick to make a puppet.

5. Closing activities:

Song: I think you’re wonderful, by Red Grammer

Snack

Paper plate with snail outline

Paper plate with snail outline

Small paper plate, colored in, then cut out.
Small paper plate, colored in, then cut out like a snail – stick glued on to make it into a puppet.

Service – The Curious Garden

SERVICE is giving to others and looking for ways to be helpful instead of waiting to be asked.

You are practicing service when you do your part to care for the earth and the environment, and you don’t wait to be asked when something needs to be done.

How can we be of service to our friends and family?

(Adapted from the Virtues Project)

1. Opening Activities

Songs: The animal boogie (Barefoot Books) and Walking through the jungle (Barefoot Books)

Yoga: Simple kids yoga inspired by Super Stretch Yoga (2-3 poses and breathing exercises)

2. Virtue introduction and examples

Welcome song: Who’s at Virtues in the Village today?

3. Story: The Curious Garden, by Peter Brown

Reading: This is the story of Liam, a little boy, who discovers a struggling garden in the city and decides to take care of it. By practicing service, Liam spreads the garden throughout the dark city, transforming it into a beautiful colorful world.

Discussion: How was Liam of service to his community? How did he make a difference?

4. Craft: Making (out of tissue paper) and drawing (with crayons) colorful flowers on a pretend city made of boxes wrapped in plain paper.

5. Practice activity: carefully ‘planting’ flowers made of tissue paper in the city by sticking or inserting them in the boxes, then singing to them just like Liam did (song If you’re happy and you know).

6. Closing activities:

Song: I think you’re wonderful, by Red Grammer

Snack

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Tissue paper in different colors, folded or crunched up, on a stick or tooth pic

 

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The colorful curious garden, covering the rail tracks

 

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Tissue paper garden, some glued on and some inserted on sticks

 

Joyfulness – Because Amelia Smiled

JOYFULNESS is when you are filled with happiness, it’s when you are full of joy.

Joy comes when you are doing what you know is right, and when you laugh and see the funny side of things. Joy is inside all of us.

You practice joyfulness when you enjoy whatever you are doing and appreciate the things you have in life.

(Adapted from The Virtues Project)

1. Opening Activities

Songs: If you’re happy and you know (jungle edition) and Walking Through the Jungle (Barefoot Books)

Yoga: Simple kids yoga inspired by Super Stretch Yoga (2-3 poses and breathing exercises – see previous lesson plans)

2. Virtue introduction and examples

Welcome song: Who’s at Virtues in the Village today?

3. Story: Because Amelia Smiled, by David Ezra Stein

Reading: This is a story about how joyfulness can spread and make its way around the world making people happy – sometimes people we don’t even know. It’s a story of the power we all have to change the world for the better by being joyful.

After reading the book, you can refer to a world map and follow the smile’s path of joyfulness. Avoid using it while reading the book – we once tried and it became a distraction.

4. Craft: Smiles on a stick – big smiley mouth with chin drawn on thick paper, then cut out and attached to a stick (with glue or staples). We used small paper plates, cut them in half, then pre-cut the chin and mouth contour before the class. Inspired by these smiles.

5.Practice activity: Standing in a circle each person shares on thing that they enjoy, or that brings them joy, while they hold their smile on a stick in front of their mouth.

6. Closing activities:

Parachute play

Song: I think you’re wonderful, by Red Grammer and “If you’re [joyful] and you know it”

Snack

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Patience – Bear Has A Story To Tell

PATIENCE is being able to wait calmly – even when you’re waiting for something you really want.  It is waiting without complaining and accepting things you cannot control.

You practice patience when you are willing to wait for things you want. You also practice patience when you show gentleness when you or others make mistakes.

Without patience, people want everything now. They complain when things don’t go their way.  But with patience, they can wait without complaining.

(Adapted from the Virtues Project)

1. Opening Activities

Songs: If you’re happy and you know (jungle edition) and The animal boogie (Barefoot Books)

Yoga: Simple kids yoga inspired by Super Stretch Yoga (2-3 poses and breathing exercises)

2. Virtue introduction and examples

Welcome song: Who’s at Virtues in the Village today?

3. Story: Bear Has a Story to Tell, by Philip C Stead

Reading: This is a story about a bear and his friends the mouse, the duck, the frog and the mole – it’s a story of their friendship  and patience.

4. Craft: paper plate bear mask – the white paper plate is colored brown with a crayon, the eyes have already been cut out, brown ears and nose are glued on, and finally a mouth is added with a crayon. Brown paper bags like the ones from Trader Joes or Whole Foods can also be used.

5. Practice activity: putting our bear masks on, we practice patience and waiting our turn by playing ‘musical bear statues’ (similar to musical statues). While the music is playing all the bears dance, but as soon as the music stops the bears ‘freeze’ and become statues that stand still. The bear statues practice standing still (and patience!) and wait for music to start dancing again. No one gets eliminated in this version of the game, the focus is on encouraging the bears to practice standing still and patience when the music has stopped.

6. Closing activities:

Song: I think you’re wonderful, by Red Grammer

Snack

Bear face drawn on small paper plate, with 2 big holes for eyes and 2 small holes on the side for elastic band

Bear face drawn on small paper plate, with 2 big holes for eyes and 2 small holes on the side for elastic band

Helpfulness – Lyle Walks the Dogs

HELPFULNESS is caring about others and doing useful things for them, such as things they cannot do themselves.

You practice being helpful when you notice what needs to be done and do it – for example when your mommy or daddy is making dinner or cleaning the house and you help them.

If you cannot figure out what someone needs, you can ask them “How can I help?” or “What do you need?”.

(Adapted from the Virtues Project)

1. Opening Activities

Songs: If you’re happy and you know (jungle edition) and The animal boogie (Barefoot Books)

Yoga: Simple kids yoga inspired by Super Stretch Yoga (2-3 poses and breathing exercises)

  • First let’s breathe! Sit with your legs crossed and breathe in as your arms go up; breathe out as your arms come down. Make sure to breath in and out slowly, this calms you down and gets you ready for the rest of the day. Try again.
  • Then standing, breathe in as you reach up for the sky; breathe out as you bend over and tickle your toes – just let your head hang. One more time.
  • Now pretend to be a dog and wag your tail – put your paws down on the ground, turn your bottom to the sky and wag your tail and stretch your whole body.
  • Let’s calm down again and sit down and breathe. Sit cross legged; breathe in as your arms go up; breathe out as your arms come down.

2. Virtue introduction and examples

Welcome song: Who’s at Virtues in the Village today?

3. Story: Lyle Walks the Dogs, by Bernard Waber

Reading: This is a story about Lyle the crocodile. Lyle loves dogs and he loves to be helpful to others – so he got a new job walking dogs. Let’s join walking the dogs with him.

4. Craft: paper crocodile craft

5. Closing activities:

Parachute play

Song: I think you’re wonderful, by Red Grammer

Snack

Green paper folded in half, half crocodile body drawn on, then cut out

Green paper folded in half, half crocodile body drawn on, then cut out

Creativity – Harold and the Purple Crayon

CREATIVITY is using your imagination to bring something new into the world. It is seeing something in a new way, or finding a different way to solve a problem.

Without creativity, life would be boring. There would be no inventions and things would be just the same. Creativity brings joy to the world.

You practice creativity when you think of new ways to make things work better, or when you use your imagination, or do things in your own creative way.

(Adapted from the Virtues Project)

1. Opening activities

Songs: If you’re happy and you know (jungle edition) and The animal boogie (Barefoot Books)

Yoga: Simple kids yoga inspired by Super Stretch Yoga (2-3 poses and breathing exercises, ending in a circle)

  • First let’s breathe! Sit with your legs crossed and breathe in as your arms go up; breathe out as your arms come down. Make sure to breath in and out slowly, this calms you down and gets you ready for the rest of the day. Try again.
  • Then standing, breathe in as you reach up for the sky; breathe out as you bend over and tickle your toes – just let your head hang. One more time.
  • Now pretend to be a dog and wag your tail – put your paws down on the ground, turn your bottom to the sky and wag your tail and stretch your whole body.
  • Let’s calm down again and sit down and breathe. Sit cross legged; breathe in as your arms go up; breathe out as your arms come down.

2. Virtue introduction and examples

Welcome song: Who’s at Virtues in the Village today?

Patting our laps to make a beat, going around the circle, singing together: “Whose at Virtues in the Village today? <Name>, <Name> is here”.

3. Story: Harold and the Purple Crayon, by Crockett Johnson

Reading: This is a story about Harold, a curious four-year-old boy who practices creativity with his purple crayon and imagines a world of his own simply by drawing it.

Discussion: Let’s talk about Harold’s amazing creativity and imagination – what was he imagining? What is an imagination and what can we do with it?

Acting out: let’s all stand up, go through the story again and use our imagination to act out what Harold was experiencing.

4. Craft and practice activity: using colorful adhesive tapes and crayons, and practicing creativity, we will use our imagination to create unique artwork together. The large piece of paper is on a hard surface (on the floor or wall) and we will take turns adding tape, doodles and drawings to it.

5. Closing activities

Parachute play: for warm-up shake, freeze/stop, walk to the left, gallop to the left, stop, walk to the right, stop. Kids sit on parachute and grown-ups walk circle singing “The wheels on the bus go round and round …”

Song: I think you’re wonderful, by Red Grammer

Snack

Creativity artwork
Creativity artwork

Thankfulness – All the World

THANKFULNESS is being grateful for what you have. It is appreciating the things you have and the people in your life.

How do we practice thankfulness? We practice thankfulness when we show appreciation when someone does something kind for us. We can show appreciation by saying ‘Thank you’.

(Adapted from Virtues Project)

1. Opening activities

Songs: If you’re happy and you know (jungle edition) and The animal boogie (Barefoot Books)

Yoga: Simple kids yoga inspired by Super Stretch Yoga (2-3 poses and breathing exercises)

2. Virtue introduction and examples

Welcome song: Who’s at Virtues in the Village today?

3. Story: All the World, by Liz Garton Scanlon.

Before we read the book, let’s think of things we are thankful for. I am thankful to have a family. I am thankful that we were safe in the recent storm, and that we had so many friends when we had no electricity after the storm.

This is a book about the many things in the world we can be thankful for. As we read the book we will stop and ask what the people in the book can be thankful for.

4. Craft: Thankfulness garland, with clothes pegs and paper leafs that list the things we are thankful for.

5. Closing activities

Parachute play

Song: I think you’re wonderful, by Red Grammer

Snack

Garland made using colorful paper & crayons, thread and clothes pegs

Garland made using colorful paper & crayons, thread and clothes pegs

Generosity – Veggie Soup

GENEROSITY is giving and sharing. It is one of the best ways to show love and friendship.

When you are generous, you think of ways to share what you have. You can practice generosity by sharing your favorite toy or helping those in need. How else can you practice generosity?

(Adapted from Virtues Project)

1. Opening activities:

Songs: If you’re happy and you know (jungle edition) and The animal boogie (Barefoot Books)

Yoga: Simple kids yoga inspired by Super Stretch Yoga (2-3 poses and breathing exercises)

2. Virtue introduction and examples

Welcome song: Who’s at Virtues in the Village today?

3. Story: Veggie Soup by Dorothy Donohue

Reading: This is a story of Miss Bunn, a generous rabbit who makes veggie soup to share with her friends.

  • Now that we know what generosity is, let’s look out for examples of generosity in the story. Look out for who’s practicing generosity in the story (the answer is that all the characters are practicing generosity since they share their special ingredients and the soup).
  • Before the last page of the book ask “How can Miss Bunn practice generosity when she has so much veggie soup?”

4. Craft and practice activity: Donations boxwe will practice generosity by decorating and filling a box of donations for a local charity or donation drive.  For example, we contribute items most needed by fellow New Yorkers who lost their homes during hurricane Sandy (non perishable food, diapers, baby food, cleaning supplies, gloves, masks, heavy duty contractor bags). We also line the floor with paper that everyone colors and use that to wrap the box.

5. Closing activities:

Parachute play

Song: I think you’re wonderful, by Red Grammer

Snack

Peacefulness – Rumble in the Jungle by Maryam Master

PEACEFULNESS is being calm and fair. It is respecting others and their differences.

With peacefulness people around you feel calm and safe. Without peace there is fighting, people get hurt and aren’t safe. Fighting doesn’t solve problems, but with peacefulness many problems can be solved.

Peace in the world begins with peace in your heart.

You practice peacefulness when you talk things out, listen to the other person, then look for a peaceful solution. You also practice peacefulness when you speak gently and avoid violent actions.

(Adapted from the Virtues Project)

1. Opening activities:

Songs: If you’re happy and you know (jungle edition) and The animal boogie (Barefoot Books)

Yoga: Simple kids yoga inspired by Super Stretch Yoga (2-3 poses and breathing exercises)

  • First let’s breathe! Sit with your legs crossed and breathe in as your arms go up; breathe out as your arms come down. Make sure to breath in and out slowly, this calms you down and gets you ready for the rest of the day. Try again.
  • Then standing, breathe in as you reach up for the sky; breathe out as you bend over and tickle your toes – just let your head hang. One more time.
  • Now pretend to be a dog and wag your tail – put your paws down on the ground, turn your bottom to the sky and wag your tail and stretch your whole body.
  • Let’s calm down again and sit down and breathe. Sit cross legged; breathe in as your arms go up; breathe out as your arms come down.

2. Virtue introduction and examples

Welcome song: Who’s at Virtues in the Village today?

3. Story: Rumble in the Jungle, by Maryam Master

Reading: Eric the elephant and Joe the ant just don’t see eye to eye. They argue over who owns the jungle. Can they look beyond their differences and learn to share?

4. Craft: Elephant and ant finger puppets. For paper cut-outs see pictures below.

5. Practice activity: after learning the words to the song ‘Teaching Peace’ by Red Grammer, we put on our finger puppet sing the song.  During the part where it counts 1, 2, 3, 4 we march through the room in a line.

6. Closing activities:

Song: I think you’re wonderful, by Red Grammer

Snack

Teaching Peace Lyrics

Teaching Peace
All the world around
You and me, every city every town
One by one, in our work and in our play
We are teaching peace by what we do and what we say

So take my hand, and come along
Its time to sing the world a brand new song
Heart to heart, friend to friend
Traveling all around the world and back again.

So take my hand, and come along
It’s time to sing the world a brand new song
So sing it loud and sing it clear
All together now so everyone can hear.

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Fold small paper in half, draw half an elephant outline with its body on the side of the fold and a semi circle where the trunk is. Cut out, open up and let kids color

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Fold small paper, draw half an ant outline with its body over the fold and two semi circles for eyes. Cut out, let kids color and add pipe cleaners for legs.

Kindness – The Spiffiest/Smartest Giant in Town

KINDNESS is showing you care about other people, it is doing things to help them and make them happy. It is looking for ways to help others.

You are kind when you are concerned about other people and want to make their life better. You are kind when you treat yourself and others gently, or when you notice when someone needs care and do something to help them.

Kindness makes the world a nicer place, because it makes people happier.

Let’s practice saying KIND-NESS!

(Adapted from the Virtues Project)

1. Opening activities:

Warm-up songs: If you’re happy and you know it (Jungle Edition) and  The animal boogie (Barefoot Books)

Yoga: Simple kids yoga inspired by Super Stretch Yoga

  • First let’s breathe! Sit with your legs crossed and breathe in as your arms go up; breathe out as your arms come down. Make sure to breath in and out slowly, this calms you down and gets you ready for the rest of the day. Try again.
  • Then standing, breathe in as you reach up for the sky; breathe out as you bend over and tickle your toes – just let your head hang. One more time.
  • Now pretend to be a dog and wag your tail – put your paws down on the ground, turn your bottom to the sky and wag your tail and stretch your whole body.
  • Let’s calm down again and sit down and breathe. Sit cross legged; breathe in as your arms go up; breathe out as your arms come down.

2. Virtue introduction and examples

Welcome song: Who’s at Virtues in the Village today?

3. Story: The Smartest Giant in Town, by Julia Donaldson

Reading: This is a story about George, a scruffy giant, who gets a new outfit.

Activity: Using a tie and a belt, and if available giraffe and dog masks, we act out the 2 scenes involving the giraffe (and tie) and dog (and belt). An adult pretends to be the giraffe then dog, and the ‘giant’ kids will practice helping the cold giraffe with a tie, and the dog cross the mud with a belt.

4. Craft: The Kindest Hand – trace a giant hand on paper and think of different ways we can be kind to others. We will write or draw these different ways of practicing kindness on each finger of the hand and color it in.

5. Closing activities:

Activity: We practice cooperation and working together through rainbow parachute play. We start with basic parachute movements such as lifting it together on the count of three, shaking it and holding it still. We will then take turns jumping on the parachute while everyone else makes waves. We close by lifting the parachute up, then down and sitting on it for our closing song. More parachute game ideas are here.

Song: I think you’re wonderful, by Red Grammer

Snack

Determination – We’re Going on a Bear Hunt

DETERMINATION is when you put all your efforts into finishing something, and continue even when it’s difficult.  It’s sticking with a task until you are done.

When you are determined, you keep going, even when something is hard, until you have reached your goal.

We practice determination when we continue cleaning up our toys, even when we get distracted (for example by TV or other toys). How else can we practice determination?

Let’s learn to say ‘determination’ – it’s a long word, so let’s break it up first then string the sounds together:

De – ter – mi – nation     Deter – mination      Determination!

(Adapted from Virtues Project)

1. Opening activities:

Songs: The animal boogie (Barefoot Books) and Whole World (Barefoot Books)

Yoga: Yoga Pretzels (2-3 poses and breathing exercises)

2. Virtue description and examples

3. Story (sing-along): We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury. (youtube clip with song)

We will be going on a bear hunt through fields and forests, through water and snow, all the way to a dark cave – and we will be determined to find the bear!

4. Craft: we will re-create the bear hunt on paper with pre-cut shapes (for snow, grass, people) and crayons (for water).

5. Closing activities:

Song: I think you’re wonderful, by Red Grammer

Snack

Unity – My granny went to market

UNITY helps people work and live together peacefully. When you practice unity, you feel connected to everyone and everything.

You are practicing unity when you care for the earth and all living things, and when you celebrate and appreciate differences.

There are many different countries and people in the world, and with unity everyone gets along.

(Definition adapted from The Virtues Project)

1. Warm up activities and/or songs:
Songs: I think you’re wonderful (Red Grammer) and The animal boogie (Barefoot books)
Yoga: Yoga Pretzels

2. Virtue description and examples

3. Story: My granny went to market (Barefoot Books), accompanied by a world map (such as this one) showing what countries and continents granny is going to.

4. Craft: coloring world map and adding children from around the world stickers

5. Practice activity: we will learn to say hello in the languages of the countries granny went to visit. Barefoot books also suggests some great practice activities here and a blogger suggests a number of educational activities to teach geography here.

6. Closing activities:
Song:‘If you’re happy and you know it’ and ‘The more we get together’

Thankfulness – One Red Apple

THANKFULNESS is being grateful for what you have. It is appreciating the things you have and the people in your life.

How do we practice thankfulness? We practice thankfulness when we show appreciation when someone does something kind for us. We can show appreciation by saying ‘Thank you’.

We also practice thankfulness when we appreciate the beauty of nature and animals.

(Definition adapted from The Virtues Project)

1. Warm up activities and/or songs:

Songs: “Who’s at Virtues in the Village today” and “I think you’re wonderful” (Red Grammer)
Yoga: Yoga Pretzels cards (bunny breath, bumblebee breath, tree pose, mountain pose)

2. Virtue description and examples.

3. Story: One red apple, by Harrier Ziefert
When we eat our crunchy red apple, we can remember the many things it takes to create the beautiful apple.

4. Craft: simple paper apple craft, based on this one, with all the things it takes to grow an apple drawn inside it. Includes bite marks on one side (see picture below).

5. Activity:

How many apple seeds will be in our apple? Let’s make a guess, then cut up the apple and count how many apple seeds we find.

Followed by eating crunchy apple slices and listing all the things it has taken for the apple to have grown and make it into our hands.

6. Closing activities:
Songs: “If you’re [thankful] and you know it” and  “The animal boogie” (Barefoot books).

Snack: Sharing apples, and practicing thankfulness by saying ‘thank you’.

Apple craft

Excellence – The good in me from A to Z

EXCELLENCE is doing your best. It helps you find out what talents you have.

When you practice excellence, you learn from your mistakes and try to improve day by day. It’s OK to make mistakes, that’s the way we learn.

When you give your best to the work you do, you can make a difference in the world.

(Definition adapted from The Virtues Project)

1. Warm up activities and/or songs:
Songs: “Who’s at Virtues in the Village today” and “I think you’re wonderful” by Red Grammer
Yoga: bunny breath, bumblebee breath (Yoga Pretzels Yoga Cards)

2. Virtue description and examples

3. Story: The good in me from A to Z, by Lisa Blecker
We’ll join Dottie, the rhinoceros, go through the ABC and learn about the many good things in us. We have all these virtues in us already – just like we nurture a flower to grow, we need to nurture these good things in ourselves so they grow too! That’s how we practice excellence.

4. Craft: We will make collage portraits of ourselves of all the good/virtues in us.We will include are our most excellent virtues (love, courage, caring, determination, enthusiasm etc.) as well as the things we do with excellence (using words, sharing, coloring, cleaning up, using the potty, trying new foods, eating vegetables, etc.).

5. Practice activity: Acting out some of the virtues and activities from the book.

6. Closing activities:
Song: “If you’re happy and you know it” and The Animal Boogie (Barefoot Books)

Collage self-portrait with our most excellent virtues and things we do with excellence.

Perseverance – Whistle for Willie

PERSEVERANCE is sticking to something and not giving up even if it takes a long time.You practice perseverance when you finish what you start, even if it’s hard.

For example, you persevere when you finish putting away your toys, looking under the table and on the floor, even if it takes a long time.

Can you think of something that is hard to do, but you still want to learn how to do it? You’ll need practice and perseverance to get better at doing it.

How else do we practice perseverance? (learning to tie shoe laces, learning to eat with spoon, putting on clothes by yourself, writing your name, learning to whistle)

(Definition adapted from The Virtues Project)

1. Warm up activities and/or songs
Songs: ‘Who’s at Virtues in the Village today?’ and ‘I think you’re wonderful’
Yoga: one standing posture, two breathing exercises

2. Virtue description and examples (see above)

3. Story: Whistle for Willie, by Jack Keats

It took Peter practice and perseverance to learn to whistle – many things we learn need practice!

[After reading the story] Can anyone here whistle (including parents)? Show us how you whistle.

For those of us who don’t know how to whistle yet, we can practice over the next few weeks to learn to whistle. When we meet again we can see if anyone persevered and learned to whistle like Peter.

For now we will make some straw whistles to help us act out Peter’s story.

4. Craft: straw whistle (see examples here and here) – unfortunately none of these produced great whistle sounds for us, so we’ll be on the lookout for a better craft activity!

5. Practice activity: let’s practice our whistling with our straw whistle and act out some of the things Peter did.

Just like Peter, we first try to whistle but we can’t – instead of whistling we begin turning around and around and get dizzy.

When we see Willie the dog coming, we hide somewhere (Peter was hiding in the carton).

Just like Peter, we first try to whistle but nothing happens.

We persevere and try to whistle again, this time we’ll use our whistle and a sound comes out!

Now that we’ve learned to whistle, we will whistle all the way around the room.

6. Closing activities:

Song: [Persevere] and you know it (in tune of ‘If you’re happy an you know it’)

Snack: sliced apples

Reflection

What worked

  • The story and illustrations are beautiful and captivating

What I would do differently

  • The story isn’t good for acting out, but acting out only one or two specific scenes works
  • The whistle craft didn’t work well, so the craft activity could be something else

Love and Thankfulness – The Giving Tree

LOVE is a special feeling that fills your heart.

Love means treating things and people with kindness because they mean so much to you.

Love is caring for someone and wanting to be near them.

How can we show people that we love them? We can smile at them, hug them, share with them, be kind to them and do things that make them happy.

(Definition adapted from The Virtues Project)

1. Warm up activities and/or songs:

Songs: I think you’re wonderful (Red Grammer)
Yoga: Yoga Pretzels

2. Virtue description and examples

3. Story: The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein

The giving tree is like our mothers and fathers, who love us so much and give us everything we need.

4. Craft: decorating paper leaves of a tree, then adding them all to a tree trunk.

5. Practice activity: thankfulness practice, we will make paper crowns for our mothers and fathers to thank them for everything they do for us.

6. Closing activities:
Song: If you’re happy and you know it

Reflections

What worked:

  • Ending the Yoga by sitting in a circle is a great way to lead into the virtue description and story.

What I would do differently:

  • Simple kids Yoga is always a great practice to introduce to young children, but I’ve learned that with 3 year olds it’s best to keep it to only 3 to 4 breathing exercises or postures.
  • The Giving Tree is not a good book to act out after the story has been read – it’s too complex/serious with many scenes difficult to act out.

If you have any suggestions or ideas about how to improve this class please share them!