Picture Book SEL: The Bad Seed

This was a really simple, fast, and effective lesson at addressing the idea that we aren't all bad or all good. That each one of us has the potential to be better than ourselves, make great choices, and learn from our mistakes.  AND the kids got to do a little drawing....which is always a hit!

We started by reading The Bad Seed by Jory Johns.  This is an engaging story that the kids love and always makes for a fun read aloud time.  After the story was read, the students and I brainstormed a list of qualities that the Bad Seed exhibited throughout the story, both positive and negative.  We called them his "strengths" and his "areas to work on".  In keeping with the idea of pulling evidence from the text, we did just that.  If the kids named a strength or area to work on, they backed it up with something that happened in the text.

Next, I asked the kids to draw a picture of the Bad Seed.  I actually did this as a directed drawing.  I didn't have any directions in front of me, rather I simply started to copy the picture of him on the cover of the book.  I am not an artist, but the seed himself is rather simple to draw.  There are some really easy directions you can follow from The Book Wrangler here.  (they are free to download)  He takes you step by step through the drawing.

Once the drawings were complete, I asked the kids to divide their drawing paper in half and list their own strengths on one side, with their areas to work on list on the other side.  They reflected upon what made them great students and classmates, and how they could be even better in both of those roles.  I specifically asked them to keep the focus on school (rather than, say their soccer playing or piano prowess.)  

Then, I hung them up on the bulletin board to display!  It was  a quick and easy lesson that took about 45 minutes in total and had 100% buy in from all of the students!

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