Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Our Heart Words

I big {PUFFY} heart manners. It could be because I am a Southern gal but good manners make my heart smile. So, several years ago I started teaching my kiddos about heart words. These are the words that Our School Family considers very important because heart words show others that you care about them and respect them.

Since the first day of school, we have talked about being helpful or hurtful to others. To help us out, Squawkers left us the book Chrysanthemum to read.

Before the story, I cut out a large paper heart. As we read the story, we crumpled the heart each time we heard someone in the story say or do something hurtful. We passed the heart around as we read the story so each child had a chance to crumple the heart. We talked about what the hurtful words were doing to Chrysanthemum's heart. When the story was over, we tried to fix Chrysanthemum's heart.

We realized that even though we tried very hard to make it better her hurt was still a wrinkled mess because words can be hurtful.

We then thought of helpful words that we could say to Chrysanthemum. Each child had a band-aid with his/her name on it. As they said the helpful and kind words they put the band-aid on Chrysanthemum's heart to make her heart feel better. This helped us learn that we can make mistakes and be hurtful at times BUT we can then change our choices and try to make it better. Even though our heart was hurt, it can start to heal.

We then wrote about the heart words we want to use in Our School Family with interactive writing. I LOVE how my district encourages interactive writing since I am not capable of creating cute anchor charts. =)

You can get the adorable Chrysanthemum heart mouse from First Grade WOW
Check out Nancy's blog....you will LOVE it. =)

I also want to share with you the door to our room....I think it is a-door-able! =)

I will be back soon with The Great Paw Hunt with Pete the Cat, Lips the Fish, and a lesson on Growing Kindness. If you have a few minutes, I would love for you to leave me a heart note. =)

From My Heart to Yours,

42 heart notes:

Katie Rockey said...

Your blog has come such a long way! I'm a MEGA impressed. Kudos to you (mine is still exactly the same- YIKES! Poor neglected blog.) Anyway, looks like you and your cuties are off to a fabulous start. I hope you have a lovely year!

Ash said...

Love the heart activity. That is a great way to teach about how you can hurt feelings. And your door is so cute! I love all the hearts. Your room is so loving!

Pixy Stix and Teacher Tricks

Miss Trayers said...

I'm totally going to steal your "Heart Words" concept. I've been wanting to do more to promote classroom community this year. Thanks Heather for sharing! :)


Amy Howbert said...

Heather, this is the most heart warming idea EVER!! I love it, & would love to try it in my classroom. I love your positive atmosphere you are building! Guess who's your newest follower! Thanks for sharing, I'll be back for more!
Amy Howbert
Little Miss Organized

Mrs. Wathen said...

I have done the crumpled heart for several years, and LOVE the bandaids for kind words.

Thanks for sharing:)
The Resourceful Apple

Mrs. Griffith said...

I did this same activity for the first time this year and I LOVE the concept. I hung the heart up in our room to refer back to. I am definitely using your 'heart words' follow up activity next year. Thanks for sharing!

For the Love of First Grade

Mrs. Lynes said...

Oh, I LOVE this!!! I will definitely have to remember it for next year {we already read Chrysanthemum!}

Becca Foxwell said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE!! You have no idea how perfect the timing of your post was! I tonight was trying to think of a tangible way to teach my kids about the power of unkind words and the importance of using words that build each other up! I'm SO using this idea! Thank you!!

First Grade in Foxwell Forest

Nicole said...

Wow, I love this so much!! You've given me a great idea for my mentor teachers classroom and then one day in my own classroom! Love it!

Kelly Teaching Fourth said...

My students and I love the book Chrysanthemum. We have used the heart activity (except, we create little paper people that we crumple) for the past few years. I want to add the heart words to my list of Chrysanthemum activities! I love reinforcing the positive ways to encourage others! I'd also like to invite you to my linky on Friday called Fun Friday. It is all about the fun things we do in our classrooms. I'd love for you to stop by and link up!

Teaching Fourth

Kristin said...

This is an awesome activity!!! I am so doing it!
Thanks for sharing!!!

DJ said...

I am definitely doing the wrinkled heart. I've done it in the past, but not with Chrysanthemum. You are amazing. Thanks so much! xoxoxo

AlyseC said...

This is awesome! My kiddos have been using alot of not-so-nice words lately...when I'm not around of course. I'm going to use this activity as a reminder! Thanks!

Keep Calm and Apple On

Lisa Mattes said...

Do you feel the smiles through the internet? What a wonnnnderrrful idea for such a special touchstone book.

http://growingfirsties.blogspot com

Nancy VandenBerge said...

Love it, Heather!! Thanks for the shout out!! You make my heart smile!! :)

Cindy Calenti said...

This is wonderful. Any activity that helps the children stop, think, and act in a manner that takes the feelings of others into consideration is a real joy.


Granny Goes to School

Juf said...

Love that crumpled heart idea. Gotta go see if I can find Chrysanthemum now!

Kaitlyn French said...

Hey Heather!

Carrie from First Grade Derby said she went to SFA with you! She is on my first grade team! Small world :) I can't wait to bust out "Chrysanthemum" with my kiddies. Hope the rest of the week goose well!

Erica said...

What a fabulous idea! You are a truly wonderful teacher! Thanks for shring this with all of us!

Lauren Livengood said...

I LOVE this lesson - it is just darling!!! I always read Chrysanthemum the first week, and I've done similar things to crumbling up the heart, but never together! I will absolutely do this in the future. Thank you for sharing!!!! :)

KathyC said...

This is great Heather!! I shared it with one of the teachers at my old school; I love it!!



Lisa Mattes said...

Your posts make me smile. :-) If you'd like to enter my Thirty One Giveaway, check it out at Growing Firsties


Mrs. Oyler said...

Love this activity and LOVE your a-DOOR-able door!!!! ;) Thanks for the follow... I am happy to return the favor..... ;)

Jenn O.
Seriously Primary

Haley said...

We did the Heart lesson and they loved it. :) I LOVE your interactive writing chart. I try to do it as much as I can, but usually don't remember. Thanks for the super idea!

Mrs. Raby said...

I love the heart lesson and bandaid idea. I will have to use that when we revisit Chrysanthemum. Thanks also for the Pete the Cat sort. I just ordered a Pete book and look forward to using your activity. Nice blog!

Anonymous said...

This is wonderful! How did you make the little people with hearts for your door? Could you email me? lena.wessel@bsd7.org

Charlotte Braddock said...


Love, love, love this lesson. I am going to do it next week when we study the letter h.

Creatively yours,


Anonymous said...

This was an awesome idea! I will try to work this in soon as I do have some friends that need to remember how to treat other friends. Thanks for sharing!

Mrs. Nutter said...

Wow! I love the idea of crumpling the heart to show the damage. I'll definitely be trying this one with my students. And I'm your newest follower! Love your blog!

Kim said...

I love following your blog! I loved your Chrysanthemum crumpled heart activity and used it with my first graders last week. We had a wonderful discussion about feelings and how saying or doing hurtful things can "put a wrinkle on our hearts." One of the first graders asked, "Can you die of a wrinkled heart?" So precious I thought I would share! Thanks for the activity!

Unknown said...

What a great activity!

I really like how visual the crumpling of the heart is.

Okay, I have to ask (someone might have before me and I've also been out of the blogging world for a while, but...) Do you really have 15 kids in your class?

I hope the year has started off great for you!

~Heidi V.

Jamie said...

I just read your "about me" and the bible verse you included was so inspirational.

I'm having a rough school year, and you have reminded me that I still need to give it my all. Oh, and thank you for visiting and following my blog!!!

CraftyTeaching21 said...


This activity looks great! I love the Chrysanthemum discussion about feelings and putting a wrinkle on your heart. Your creativity is inspiring!

Looking forward to seeing more of your creative teaching!

Thanks for your support :)

Adventures of Afterschool said...

Thank you for following my blog! I must say my students NEED this lesson! Next week it has to be done..it's been really tough with this group to instill kindness.

I look forward to your blog!


Cheryl said...

Thank you so much for writing the blog about our little "Hoovers". The newness of the school year is not so new anymore and teachers are becoming tired and more stressed to get everything done.. Your thoughts and the video were a great reminder of why we chose to become teachers. Thank you again for the uplifting message that was badly needed.

I wish you well!

Tiffany May said...

Heather I simply Love your Welcome to Our School family bulletin board. I will definitely be using this next year. I always talk with my kids how we're a family. This is too precious. Thank you for sharing. =)



Melissa Dailey said...

I was so inspired by your Heart Words that I created this:


Thanks for the inspiration!