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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.
I am so delighted to be teaming up again with some great blogger-friends to bring you our favorite books for September!
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.
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Here are some of the best-loved back-to-school books!  Find lesson ideas, activities, free book companions for all 12 books!

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How to Teach Social Skills with All About Me Bags

Are you looking for creative ways to: • Build a positive classroom community? • Teach Social Skills? • Get to know your students? • All in one project?  If you are, this may be the perfect project for you!  Teaching social skills helps create a safe, caring community where each students is valued, appreciated, and listened to.Welcome to your new school year!

Are you looking for creative ways to:
~  Build a positive classroom community?
~ Teach Social Skills?
~ Get to know your students?
~ All in one project?

If you are, this may be the perfect project for you!  Teaching social skills helps create a safe, caring community where each students is valued, appreciated, and listened to.

The 'All About Me' bag is a long-time favorite way to get to know each other, especially at the beginning of the year!  This bag activity is a perfect opportunity to teach Social Skills to your new class.  Without some explicit training in active listening and other social skills, students that should be listening, gradually turn into a little pile of squirming puppies.  #truestory
Are you looking for creative ways to: • Build a positive classroom community? • Teach Social Skills? • Get to know your students? • All in one project?  If you are, this may be the perfect project for you!  Teaching social skills helps create a safe, caring community where each students is valued, appreciated, and listened to.
Preparation is easy!  Just copy the 'All About Me' sheets on white or colored paper.  Cut apart and staple onto a bag.  Send it home - all the directions are on the sheet so your parents will know just what to do. #easypeesey

Fill a bag of your own, your students will love learning about you and this gives you an opportunity to model sharing and to teach the 4 L's for listeners and the QCC for listeners.  I use a timer for the sharing 3-5 minutes - depending on your schedule and your students' stamina for listening.  Set some time aside for this activity every day with maybe four or five students sharing each day.  Encourage good listening by reminding your students of the 4 L's for listeners and that you will be choosing students who show active listening to share next.  (This is especially effective in the beginning, before most of the class has shared.)

What are the listeners doing?  

During Sharing: 4 L's for Listeners

Listeners are practicing active listening skills by following the 4 L's:
1)  Look at the speaker.
2)  Listen to the speaker.
3)  Lean toward the speaker.
4)  Look interested.

Are you looking for creative ways to: • Build a positive classroom community? • Teach Social Skills? • Get to know your students? • All in one project?  If you are, this may be the perfect project for you!  Teaching social skills helps create a safe, caring community where each students is valued, appreciated, and listened to.

After Sharing: QCC time!

Your students will love QCC time!
1)  Speaker asks, "Are there any Questions?"
Speaker answers questions.
Questioner: 'Thank you."
Speaker:"You are welcome."

2)  Speaker asks: "Did you make any Connections as I shared?"
Listeners share their connections.
Speaker acknowledges the connections in some positive way, such as: "That is so cool!, "Wow", That is amazing!"

3)  Teacher asks, "Who would like to share a Compliment about ____'s sharing today?"
Speaker says, "Thank you," after each compliment.

Are you looking for creative ways to: • Build a positive classroom community? • Teach Social Skills? • Get to know your students? • All in one project?  If you are, this may be the perfect project for you!  Teaching social skills helps create a safe, caring community where each students is valued, appreciated, and listened to.
You decide how many questions, connections, and compliments you want shared at this point.  You will want to keep it the same for all your students so they know you are being fair with them all!

I hope you will give this activity a try with your class this year!  If you would like a copy of the 'All About Me' bag directions and the Active Listening posters, just click on the picture below.
Are you looking for creative ways to: • Build a positive classroom community? • Teach Social Skills? • Get to know your students? • All in one project?  If you are, this may be the perfect project for you!  Teaching social skills helps create a safe, caring community where each students is valued, appreciated, and listened to.

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Are you looking for creative ways to: • Build a positive classroom community? • Teach Social Skills? • Get to know your students? • All in one project?  If you are, this may be the perfect project for you!  Teaching social skills helps create a safe, caring community where each students is valued, appreciated, and listened to.

Have a wonderful school year and be sure to 
enter our Giveaway for a chance to win 
one of three Teachers Pay Teachers gift certificates!


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