By Karveena Atwal
The Casel (2017) resource, describes Social Emotional Learning as the way adults and children learn to manage and understand emotions, show empathy for each other, set goals, make responsible decisions and establish positive relationships.
I will begin to share ideas on picture books I believe to support Social Emotional Learning in children, youth and adults. This blogs focus will be on the picture book:
Red A Crayons Story by Michael Hall
Lesson 1: Identity Focus: Core Competency on Self-Awareness & Social Awareness
Pre-Reading: Use loose parts to have students create & discuss with peers all of the things that make up “Who they are” example-sports, hobbies personality, family, culture, etc.
OR a comic strip to describe themselves as a character in their own story of who they are. Example Scene 1- Me and my family, Scene 2- Me and my Sports/Hobbies etc.
Students may fill in the sentence: What makes me different/special from others is ___________
Have a gallery walk or mini groups where students can use communication to share their identity through the use of loose parts or comic strip.
You might ask students to bring in objects/artifacts that describe their identity and have a group classroom share. In the past, I have created identity boxes where we used a shoe box to describe our identity. In the box included flags of country of origin, immigration/migrating factors, photos of cultural foods, lists of family traditions and cultural/religious inclusions etc. We were able to make cross-curricular connections to Social Studies and Literacy.
Part 2- Use the Metacognitive strategy Inferring: What might this story be about? What do you notice about the cover of the book? (You might prompt the younger audiences to take a close look at the crayons and what the word says on crayon.)
Read the story Red A Crayons Story by Michael Hall
Post-Reading: Discussion Questions/Lesson ideas:
- How might Red have felt knowing that others saw him as Red when he was blue?
- What does the word stereotypes mean?
- Can you think of some stereotypes that people might have about you from the outside?
- Teacher can share an example about themselves with classroom: Example: From the outside people might view me as... indo-canadian and able to cook curries, but really, I have never cooked a curry in my life, and I like to cook shepherd’s pie.
- Each student can share the following prompt “Someone who looks at me might not know…..”
- How do you think it feels to have stereotypes of who others think we should be? (You might make a cross-curricular connection to Aboriginal Education (AbEd), What does Assimilation mean? How might it have felt for students going to residential school to have to assimilate to a new culture/identity?)
Cross-Curricular connection to the SOGI Curriculum “Pronouns/Allies”Talk about pronouns: he, she, they, boy, girl, them etc.
- Compare this book to the book to the book “I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel & Jazz Jennings”.
- More SOGI inspired books- “It feels good to be yourself A book about Gender Identity by Theresa Thorn” and “Its okay to be different by Todd Parr” “My Princess Boy” and “Jacobs New Dress”
- What does the word “Ally” mean (share definition), are the other crayons in the story being allies? How about the art supplies, when they came into the story what were they trying to do?
- When the new friend “Berry” asked red to draw a blue ocean for the boat, how do you think this made red feel?
- When we try to be someone we are not, what happens to us? How do we feel?
- Is it ok to feel or be different? How do you think red felt when it couldn’t colour in red? How about when it could colour in blue?
Part 3 Closing Activity- If you could write a letter to Red, what would you say? How would you be an ally to a friend like Red? (Younger students might draw a picture).