Each year, as part of my Friendly Francine Unit (from Jellybean Jamboree) I do with Kindergarteners, we talk about sharing. I figured it wouldn’t hurt to reiterate the point in 1st grade. I thought it was especially important this time around not to emphasize sharing, but more . . . what we shouldn’t be sharing. With multiple food allergies throughout the school, I thought it was important to stress the idea of not being able to share food or medicine.
Topics Covered: Interpersonal Effectiveness and Communication Skills
Character Skill: Fairness
Adapted from Puzzle Pieces.
I used a silly (made up) story about me and my husband. The point of my story was that sometimes people who don’t share aren’t being mean, they just didn’t realize that someone wanted what they had.My story went a little something like this . . .
“I got a box of candy in the mail this week from my mom. It was my favorite candy, chocolate covered raisins. When my husband got home, I showed him the candy my mom sent to me in the mail. After dinner, I got out the box of candy to eat while we watched TV. My husband got a funny look on his face during the TV show and went in the other room to read his book. He wouldn’t talk to me the rest of the night. Can you tell me what went wrong?”
The boys are quick to ask if the story was true, they wanted to know why I didn’t share, they wanted to know my husband’s name, they wanted to tell me they didn’t like chocolate covered raisins so this wouldn’t have been a problem for them, etc. But, in the end, they knew the real problem was I didn’t share . . . but the amazing thing was, they also noticed that not once (in the story) did my husband ask for any of the raisins. So they gave me a little break . . .
Next, I had the boys offer ideas about what I could have done differently. All the while, I was explaining how I wasn’t meaning to be mean, just that I wasn’t thinking about what I did. I just liked the candy so much I forgot to share it. To which the boys also pointed out, “How could you know? He didn’t even ask!”
Next I read It’s Mine by Leo Lionni.
After the story, we talked about times they didn’t want to share. It normally involved a sibling.
Next, I showed an assortment of pictures. For each picture we voted about whether or not we SHOULD share that item. Some were easy, like crayons. Others were hard, like candy. I took this time to explain how sometimes things are too dangerous to share.
To end the session, we did an activity page that had the boys identify a time they shared and how sharing made them feel. Some felt happy (which is what I predicted they’d all say), but some said sharing made them angry, sad, confused. I guess it was even a good lesson for me.