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Do Unto Otters {Primary Flourish}

'Do Unto Otters' by Laurie Keller is an all-time favorite back-to-school book!  This story will inspire your new students to follow the Golden Rule, which in turn with foster a safe, caring classroom community from the start.  A free book companion is available for download.
My book for you is....
'Do Unto Otters' by Laurie Keller is one of my all-time favorite back-to-school books!  It is perfect for helping to create a caring, empathetic classroom.

It's a delightful story of Mr. Rabbit, who worried (perhaps terrified) about his new neighbors who just moved into his woods - the otters!  Fortunately he has a wise owl for a friend who wakes him up from his worried frenzy with a wise saying: 'Do unto otters as you would have other do unto you'.
We of course know it as 'The Golden Rule'.

Mr. Rabbit takes the words of wisdom from the owl and starts pondering how he would like the otters to treat him. This is the perfect story use to inspire your new students to follow the Golden Rule, which in turn will foster a safe, caring classroom community from the start.

I love to gather my students to the rug area for all our read alouds.  It is easier to capture and keep their interest and attention there.  

Before reading the story, show your students the cover and encourage them to make observations and connections.  Some may recognize the play on words that the title is making - otters for others.  Encourage your students to access any prior knowledge (schema) that they may have.

Ask leading questions:
Does the title remind you of anything you have heard before?
What do you think this story might be about?
What do you know about rabbits?
What do you know about otters?
How are rabbits and otters different?
'Do Unto Otters' by Laurie Keller is an all-time favorite back-to-school book!  This story will inspire your new students to follow the Golden Rule, which in turn with foster a safe, caring classroom community from the start.  A free book companion is available for download.
{A Venn diagram is perfect for using their schema 
to compare and contrast.}

How are otters and rabbits alike?
Even though rabbits are different in many ways, how are they alike? (They have many of the same needs.)
Do you have new friends that are different from you?  Do they have some of the same needs?
This is crucial in developing empathy for others - understanding that we all have the same basic physical, social, and emotional needs!
The story unfolds with Mr. Rabbit knowing exactly how he wants the otters to treat him.  The book is rich with great ideas on using good manners in the things we say, do, don't do, and are.

Encourage your students to make connections with the things Mr. Rabbit would like the otters to say, do, not do, and be.

Record these ideas as you go through the story so that the students will have lots of ideas to refer to as they apply the Golden Rule to what they are going to say, do, don't do, and be to others.

You may want to create an anchor chart with the 4 questions, or use the flap book and have the students fill in the information as you all read through the story.
'Do Unto Otters' by Laurie Keller is an all-time favorite back-to-school book!  This story will inspire your new students to follow the Golden Rule, which in turn with foster a safe, caring classroom community from the start.  A free book companion is available for download.

After reading, discuss with your students how they want others to treat them.   Encourage them to refer to the anchor chart or flap book that they filled out while you were reading the story.  Record some of their responses on a new chart (using the included header and questions). 

Now ask them, "If we want others to treat us like this, how should we treat others?"

Students use the triangle flip book to record four things they want others to do for them and then the corresponding things they are going to do for others.

After they have completed the flip book, have them share it with a partner, and/or ask for volunteers to read to the entire class.
'Do Unto Otters' by Laurie Keller is an all-time favorite back-to-school book!  This story will inspire your new students to follow the Golden Rule, which in turn with foster a safe, caring classroom community from the start.  A free book companion is available for download.

I hope you will read this story to your class!  I know you will love it, and they will love it, too!
I have included all of the printable and anchor chart pieces in the book companion.  
Enjoy!
'Do Unto Otters' by Laurie Keller is an all-time favorite back-to-school book!  This story will inspire your new students to follow the Golden Rule, which in turn with foster a safe, caring classroom community from the start.  A free book companion is available for download.

2 comments

  1. I've heard of this book, but haven't read it yet... seems perfect for the back to school time (especially with your helpful book companion resources). Thanks for sharing!!

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    Replies
    1. You are so welcome, Kelli! I know you and your students will love this story!

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