(If you would like more tips about building a positive classroom culture click the image with the bee.)
I love using STEM and Glyphs to help build classroom culture. But using various versions of Stone Soup will forever be a favorite activity of mine!
Each version of this story shares several commonalities. Travelers reach an unfriendly town. Through the use of a small object, the citizens are encouraged to contribute to a soup or stew. Each person discovers that they have something special to contribute to the "soup".
After we read several versions, we compare the stories' elements: characters, setting, conflict, resolutions. In years where I felt comfortable, I asked parents to send one item of food to school. We celebrated the unit by having our own little feast! Each student contributed their item to our pot. (When I worked at schools where I knew my parents struggled to send extra, I provided the ingredients for my students.) Man, do students love to eat!
Finally, I asked the students to reflect on "gifts" they see in others. They journaled and I looked over them. We sat in a circle and I called on volunteers to share about their classmates' gifts. Most of the time, I ended up teary after hearing what my kids said about each other. Some years, I jotted down what the kids wrote and posted it on the wall. It was a neat reminder of the things we cherished in each other.
Do you have an activity or book that you love? Comment below.