Things that I love….kids, books, holidays and RPM! So, with Valentine’s Day coming up, I decided to do a lesson that incorporated all four of my favorite things! Book lessons can be an easy go to. Find a book that you like, read, stop and ask questions. It does not get any easier than that! This can be done at all levels – with choices and single word answers for beginners or more complex questions for seasoned RPMers. Any book will do, just make sure to use one that engages your learner!
To go with the Valentine’s theme, I chose Plant a Kiss by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. I wrote about it three years ago when I reviewed some quirky books for Valentines. (Any of these books would make a great story lesson). Plant a Kiss is really more of a poem than a story, although it looks like a children’s book, there are subtle layers of meaning that make it appealing for all ages (I have given this book as a gift for engagements, births and weddings). This lesson is best suited for elementary school kids, K-6th. Plant a Kiss remains a favorite, so it was a natural choice to use with one of my 9 year old sweethearts, Lucas. Lucas has been RPMing since Spring 2014 and always has great thoughts to share! (Note: Lucas’ responses are in all capitals.)
First, we talked about the fact that Valentine’s Day was coming up.
What holiday is on Saturday? VALENTINE’S DAY
Then I showed Lucas the book cover, read the title, author and illustrator. I talked to him about what authors and illustrators do.
What is an author? PERSON WHO WRITES A BOOK
What is an illustrator? PERSON WHO DRAWS THE PICTURES
I read the first couple of pages and asked, “What does the girl do?” SHE PLANTS A KISS. “Can someone actually plant a kiss?” REALLY YOU CAN’T SO IT IS FUNNY TO IMAGINE PLANTING A KISS.
I went on to read the next few pages. “What does the girl do to grow a kiss?” SUNSHINE, WATER, GREET, REPEAT. “How can you greet something that has been planted?” WATCH IT GROW.
Onto the next page…”What happens after the girl plants the kiss?” SHE WORRIES NOTHING WILL HAPPEN.
We go through the next two pages, “what happened next?” THE PLANT SPROUTS AND SHE MAKES HER FRIENDS COME OUT.
The friends stare at the plant in amazement. “What does the girl decide to do?” SHE DECIDES TO SHARE WITH HER FRIENDS. “What do the friends think about this idea?” THEY ARE AFRAID IT WILL BE RUINED IF SHE SHARES TOO MUCH.
We read through the next few pages, soaking up the beautiful illustrations. “What did the girl do?” SHE SHARED THE PLANT EVERYWHERE.
After this, we paused and I explained, “A metaphor is a comparison used in writing and poetry where one thing is used to represent something else. In this story, the plant is a metaphor. What do you think the plant represents?” THE PLANT REPRESENTS LOVE. “What do you think happens when you give away love?” THE LOVE GROWS THE MORE YOU GIVE IT AWAY.
We read to the end of the story, “after the girl has given away the plant, what has happened to the plant?” ENDLESS BLISS (this is a quote from the end of the story). “What does that mean?” REAL EXPLOSION OF LOVE.
“So, this book seems like a very simple children’s story, but it is far more complex. What is the lesson the story teaches us?” THE STORY TEACHES US TO SHARE OUR LOVE INSTEAD OF HOGGING IT FOR OURSELVES. (*I laughed out loud as Lucas spelled this out! I have the best job ever!)
Creative Writing: If you could plant anything as a gift to the world, what would you want to plant and what would you want to do with it?
I WOULD PLANT SEEDS OF HAPPINESS THAT WOULD GROW INTO KINDNESS FLOWERS. MY FLOWERS WOULD INSPIRE PEOPLE TO BE NICE TO EACH OTHER SO THE WORLD WOULD BE A MORE BEAUTIFUL PLACE.
It doesn’t get much sweeter than this my friends! I have loved this book so much that I bought it for my niece and nephew a few years ago and we turned it into a little craft project. We planted kisses to use as place cards-gifts for our family’s Easter dinner! If I had all the time I wanted in my RPM sessions, I would include a sensory/motor activity in each lesson. This craft project is ideal for that purpose! As my wise little friend, Lucas, pointed out, love grows when you share it, so I am sharing a little love and this lesson with you (with modifications for all levels). Happy Valentine’s Day – share your love and watch it grow! ~Elizabeth