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Chrysanthemum - Kevin Henkes

Grade: 1st


This is such a good story to read to introduce a lesson on bullying. Chrysanthemum loves her name prior to going to school. However, when children begin to pick on her for her name, she quickly starts to dislike her name. This is a perfect way to show students how their actions can effect how someone else feels. Before reading this story, I will have my students cut out a red construction paper heart. They will write their name in the middle of it. I will explain that when I read the story and we come to a pat that a bully says something mean to Chrysanthemum, they must crumple their heart up. They will also be told to flatten their heart out each time Chrysanthemum feels happy. At the end of the story, I will have my students examine their heart and to tell me about it. They will explain that it is wrinkly and that it doesn't look like it did before. This is when I will explain to my class that no matter how hard you try, you can't erase the wrinkles on a heart put there by bullies or by being mean to others. We will discuss how Chrysanthemum loved herself until people made her dislike her name. As a result, we will learn to be kind to each other in my classroom because we are all "absolutely perfect" just the way we are, and that we should never ever wrinkle someone else's heart.