Building a new story from "Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel."

Rewriting a children's book to define community and the responsibilities of citizenship.

Photo of Mademoiselle Duff
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Guide students to brainstorm their thoughts on the themes of: community and self. Define the words: fellowship, environment, cohesion, resources, responsibility, citizenship, accountability, and advocacy. Create personalized examples, by asking students: What do you feel responsible for in your community?  How do you see others acting responsibly? What is one responsibility you plan to take on in order to make your community stronger or help someone else in their effort?

Read the book Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton. Lead a class discussion asking students to articulate about how the ideas of community and citizenship are realized in this book. List examples of: fellowship, environment, cohesion, resources, responsibility, citizenship, accountability, and advocacy.  Ask students to match illustrations from the story with these vocabulary words and explain their interpretation of the pairings. 

Allow students to create their own children's books using the class discussions and the example of Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel. Encourage the use of the core vocabulary: fellowship, environment, cohesion, resources, responsibility, citizenship, accountability, and advocacy. Create a paired activity with younger students in the school to allow further sharing and discussion. 

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Photo of Lisa Yokana
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I love this idea for teaching community and empathy with younger students! And wouldn't it be cool to see students tackle some of those things that they thought of that would make their community stronger? What if that was the paired activity with the younger students? Then they would be spreading the culture of caring as well as actually DOING something! This is really great-I'd love to see you try it with students and reiterate based on your findings...
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Lisa