Thursday, September 6, 2012

It's Hard to Fix a Wrinkled Heart

Welcome back! 
Today we read one of my favorite beginning of the year books, Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes.  It has become a fav of the kids too. Many of them said they have the book at home or their kindergarten teacher read it to them. I told them that's why books are so special. No matter how many times you read a book, each time is like opening a gift.  This time we were going to really think about the main character's feelings and the author's message.  As we read the book, I passed around a large paper heart.  Each time Chrysanthemum was teased because of her name, we crumpled up the heart.  Every time someone did something nice to her, we tried our best to smooth it out. By the end of the story, the heart was a wrinkled mess that could not be smoothed out perfectly. 
The kids got the connection that our own hearts feel wrinkled and crumpled sometimes when we don't like what someone says.  Words do hurt. We then tried to put bandaids on the heart as a way to show that we can own our mistakes and apologize.  The heart will probably still be wrinkled, but it is healing.

I, then had the kids do a mini version of this in their Reader's Response Journal.

Always Use Kind Words!

Including the little heart poem in the center:
Before you speak,
Think and be smart.
It's hard to fix
a wrinkled heart.

Here's to Happy Hearts!


  1. I did this activity with my kiddos last week and they absolutely adored it! Letting them put band-aids on it makes it that much better. Thanks for sharing : )

    For the Love of First Grade

  2. This is such a wonderful activity! Thanks for the wonderful freebie! I hope you get a chance to check out my blog, I'm your newest follower.

  3. I do this every year. The poem is a very nice touch. Thanks.
    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

  4. My kindergarten partner pinned this on Pinterest for me. For the past several years I have read the book "Heartprints" by PK Hallinan. Then I use a paper heart to illustrate what happens when we do unkind things to others or they do them to us by making folds in the heart. We call these heart wrinkles. At the end of each day I play soft music and the children close their eyes and think of heartprints they witnessed that day. Then we make a heartprint circle, roll a ball to each person and they get a chance to share a heartprint that happened to them or they witnessed. Then whenever they or I notice a kind action we talk about leaving their heartprint in that place. Whenever someone does something unkind we ask if they are wanting to leave a heart wrinkle. Your poem and the band aids with the journal idea will really add to this! Thank you sooooo much!

  5. I love this lesson. We did it last week as part of a lesson on our heart words. I just shared about it on my blog and gave you a shout out. You are amazing! =)

    Heather's Heart

  6. I followed Heather's advice and came to check this out! I LOVE it! I will have to give this a try next week. Thank you for sharing!
    Owl Things First!

  7. Awww, this is so sweet, what a great way to start the year. I'm pinning!!!

  8. I followed Heather's advice as well, so glad I did. This is a gorgeous lesson. I LOVE your blog and your ideas. Thanks heaps for this fantastic freebie. I am going to do this with my class. Thanks again.
    Classroom Fun

  9. What a great idea for a lesson! The best part is, although I read this book at the beginning of the year, this activity can be used anytime!!!

  10. I am trying to teach my kinders about being tolerant of others differences. I'll be using this heart idea to talk about what we do when we are not tolerant and how it makes the other person feel. Thanks so much!

    Adoring Lilly

  11. I love love love this idea! Thank you for sharing. :)

    Now...where did you get those journals with the handwriting lines? I must know!!!

  12. Nancy, my sweet friend,
    I just gave this lesson a HUGE shout out on my blog! I think we did everything you had posted and it was a HUGE success! Thank you so much! My kids and I are so grateful for your kindness to share such amazing materials!!
    Ms. Marciniak's First Grade Critter Cafe

  13. We just completed a similar lesson as part of our school families/bucket filling program. I wish I had read this in advance of the lesson, I may have to revisit it with my class using the story book and bandaids.


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