Polka Dots

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


We learned about Stewardship in November. The focus for grades K, 1, 2, 4, 6, and 7, the focus was on Time, Talent, and Treasure. Stewardship is a tough subject to teach since it isn't a word that we use often in our vocabulary like Respect, Responsibility and Honesty. But, once time is spent defining the word and giving examples, I have found that the students are very capable of understanding how they can share and give themselves in service to others. The focus for grades 3, 5, and 8 was on career education and exploration.

In Kindergarten, we read The Gift of Nothing by Patrick McDonnell. In the story, Mooch, the cat, tries to think of a gift to give his friend Earl, the dog. Earl has everything and Mooch isn't sure what to get his friend. In the end, Mooch decides to give Earl "nothing" but his friendship. After reading the book we talked about what "nothings" we had to give others: love, kindness, a smile, asking someone to play, helping a friend in need, etc. After our discussion, the students drew a picture of a "nothing" they plan to give.

In 4th grade, we read The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. This is one of my all-time favorites. I love Shel Silverstein poems, and aside from "Sick" and "Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me Too", this is the best! We read the poem and talked about all of the gifts that the tree gave to the boy. In the end, the tree felt that she had nothing left to give, but she was still able to give the boy a place to rest. After reading the poem, we talked about all of the ways that we can give to others, even if we don't think that we have anything left to give. Each student wrote their ideas on a leaf and we decorated our own giving tree.

In 6th grade, we discussed the definition of Stewardship and examples of how we can share our time, talent, and treasure. We then listened to the song My Own Two Hands by Jack Johnson. The song talks about being able to change the world and make it a better place with our own two hands. We talked about our personal abilities to help other and each student came up with five ideas of how they can show stewardship. The traced their hand, cut it out, and wrote their ideas on each of their fingers.

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