Then we read a wordless picture book called, I Walk With Vanessa, by Kerascoët. We have talked so much about authors and illustrators, and this book certainly had an author who developed this simple, yet powerful story, they told the story through illustrations. The story is about a child who is new to the school whose name is Vanessa. She is left out of play and activities at school, and on the way home a boy stops her and looks to be threatening her. A group of children are walking nearby and one of the children in the group notices the boy and Vanessa. The illustrations make it clear that the girl is being treated badly by the boy because there is a red cloud around her. The little girl who notices watches, and seems concerned by the look on her face, but does not act. She is sad at home and has a hard time sleeping, as does Vanessa. The next morning while eating breakfast, Vanessa gets an idea. Ask me to tell you what happens. This book really addresses sticking out your neck to help others when they are involved in a problem. Although it didn't happened during the problem in the story, the little girl who witnessed the incident goes to Vanessa's door the next morning and begins to walk to school with her. The friends she was walking with the day before also see, and they join in, as do other children until we see most of the school children walking toward the school. Off to the side, we see the bully who is watching. We talked briefly about how to help in situations like this one instead of being a bystander. We will continue to talk about this throughout the year. We also talked about how the girl in the story who first walked with Vanessa really was a leader. She made a good change for Vanessa with one simple act of kindness.
Wordless picture books are an excellent way to talk about empathy with your children. In the ISFP section on this website, I have an article from Reading Rockets that may interest you if you would like more information about wordless picture books and developing empathy in children.
In math today, we looked at counting-on one more, as well as representing numbers on ten frames. We looked at horizontal and vertical ten frames. This is a challenge for children, but again very important for children to see dot formations in different configurations.
In reading, we practiced some choral reading to prepare for Reader's Theater. We also talked about describing a character. We talked mostly about what we could see from the illustration since the text is not that deep! Then, the students wrote a description on their own.
We also watched a short video of Mr. Rogers talking with a friend in a wheelchair. It's a pretty famous clip you may have seen already, but at the end of the clip, Mr. Rogers and the little boy sing It's You I Like. This song, written by Mr. Rogers, hangs on our front door so I wanted the children to see it. The video is below. We talked about how when we see people who are different than we are, or have something special about them, that you don't need to look away, and it's not a good idea to just share, but a smile and hello is always welcome.