In first grade we read Sneaky Weasel by Hannah Shaw. Throughout the story, Weasel learns that no one wants to come to his party because of his mischievous ways. His friends have been hurt over and over by his poor choices and no longer want to be a part of their friendship.
Throughout the story, each time we came across a mean act from Weasel, we crumpled a large paper heart. I explained that when people do things that hurt us, it creates a small wrinkle in our heart. Page by page our wrinkles became more and more prevalent to the point where the heart was unrecognizable. Once Weasel began to change his behavior and starts making things better with his friends, we started smoothing out the wrinkles on our large heart. However, even when smoothed, there is still a scar left. The heart will never go back to being the same as it was in the beginning. This is what often happens with friendships, we have to learn to forgive even though our heart may not always forget the pain.
We brainstormed ways to heal our hearts when someone has been unkind to us and we wrote them on band-aids that we attached to our wrinkled hearts. Ideas included: say you're sorry, right your wrong, ask if they're okay, invite them to play, take a break, etc. Students were given their own hearts to cut out, wrinkle, smooth out, and attach band-aid stickers with ways we'd like others to help us heal when we've been hurt.