In third grade we read one of my favorite stories this week, Mr. Peabody's Apples by Madonna. Yes, Madonna!
Mr. Peabody's Apples tells the story of how one small assumption can ruin a reputation and take endless hours to fix. Students opinions of the characters in the story shift as they too believe the rumor, then learn how damaging those few words have been. After the story we discussed the following questions:
- What could Tommy have done differently when he first saw Mr. Peabody take the apple?
- What do you think the author wants us to learn from this story?
- What did you learn and how will it influence your choices?
- What does the phrase "jumping to conclusions" mean? How does that apply to this story?
- How do rumors hurt people?
Once students emptied all of the toothpaste from their tube, I then told them I wanted them to put it all back inside the tube. WHAT?!?! The ah-ha moments could be heard coming from each group. I gave them a few minutes to attempt this difficult task, then we debriefed on the purpose of the activity with our minty fresh hands. :)
Our words are like the toothpaste, we have to be careful what we say. It is not easy to take them back, just like the difficult task of trying to get the toothpaste back into the tube. Students reflected on the power of their words by filling out the following organizer from Fourth and Ten's blog.
I had students explain their learning in two ways: what I learned & positive words