Sunday, August 21, 2016

Using Chrysanthemum in Upper Elementary at the Beginning of School

One of my most visited blog post is Favorite Read Alouds for the First Week of School. In this blog post, I listed several picture books that I love to read during the first week. This list includes a few different titles that are usually not listed for the beginning of school. I did not, however,  list one of my favorite back to school books in this post. This year, I went back to that old favorite, Chrysanthemum! I love reading this book to my students partly because of the overwhelming response students have to the story. I'm always surprised by how many fourth graders are not familiar with this book.

This year, after reading the Chrysanthemum, I helped demonstrate how to draw a simple picture of the main character. Then on the left side of the paper, the students wrote words to describe how the students' cruel words made Chrysanthemum feel. On the right side, they wrote how Chrysanthemum's parents and Mrs. Twinkle's kind words made her feel. Next, on an index card, I had the students to write what they learned from the story about how to treat others.

Not only did the students' pictures turn out adorable, but I knew from the paragraphs that were written, that the class understood the message in the book. This helped to reinforce the ideas of classroom community that we have been establishing the first week of school.

These adorable drawings and writings made a perfect hall display for back to school!

Have a blessed day!


  1. Thanks for sharing this wonderful idea! I love it!

    1. Thank you, Susan! The students really enjoyed this activity and the story!