Using picture books to teach character lessons at home and in the classroom can be a very effective instructional tool for children. We recently shared ways to teach about spreading rumors with the book Mr. Peabody’s Apples. Today we’re continuing our character lessons series with activities about being yourself.
A Bad Case of Stripes
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A Bad Case of Stripes is my favorite children’s book. I love this book for many reasons but mainly because the book teaches you to be yourself no matter what others say or might think. Although Camilla Cream loves lima beans she is afraid to eat them because of what other people might think. Camilla’s anxiety about what other people think of her causes a big problem, a bad case of stripes. This is a great book for students of all ages. I have read this book many times with Little Bit and used it in my 4th and 5th grade classroom.
Book Activities About Being Yourself
Create a paper head, there are free printouts you can find online of Camilla’s head or you can make your own. The students then draw lines across the head and fill in stripes with things that make them unique. Encourage students to share things that others would not know or they might be shy to share. This is a great first week of school activity.
This can be a group or whole class project. Create a larger cut out of a head for each group or one for the class. Have students brainstorm ways they can show each person’s favorite thing or something special about their self on the group head. After brainstorming, students decorate the head to show every student’s uniqueness. You can allow the students to use just crayons, markers and color pencils or go a step further and let them use beads, feathers, magazines, etc.
Lima Beans Activity
Discuss with students what cleared up Camilla’s stripes and why simple lima beans worked. Then ask students to think about what would cure them if they had a bad case of stripes. Remind students that it should be something that makes them unique but they might be shy or have never told anyone about.
Video Reading of A Bad Case of Stripes
Watch actor Sean Astin read A Bad Case of Stripes.
More Books About Being Yourself
In our next post in this series we’ll explore the book Enemy Pie and share character lessons related to friendship.