In order to offer more support to our teachers who are returning to classrooms this fall or parents who will be engaging in homeschool activities, we would like to offer extension activities to support using "We Can All Be Helpers" as a learning tool.
Finn's Walk Through Town: Story Mapping
Finn and Doodle visited many places in their town during the story.
Create a story flow map that shows where they went in the order that they visited them. Where did they start? Where did they visit next? List the places in order.
Extend the story: If you were able to visit any place in your town, where would you go? Why? Draw a picture of that place or write a short story about your visit to this location.
If you could plan the perfect day, create a flow map of the places in your community that you would visit in order with a short sentence saying what you would do there and who you may see.
Me and My Mask:
Creating our own
Lift the Flap
Finn felt a little nervous when he was meeting the community helpers who were wearing masks because the mask was covering part of their face. It is ok for you to feel nervous too as you are meeting new friends in your class or community.
Create a bulletin board together where you place photos of yourself wearing a mask AND not wearing mask. Place these photos side by side just like the slider pictures in our story so you can see each other's faces with and without a mask on. Title the board, "WE CAN ALL BE HELPERS!"
Another fun activity is to draw and color a picture of your face- choose the color of your skin, eyes, hair, lips to create a beautiful you! You can decide what expression you'd like to wear by drawing your mouth any way you'd like. (you can also cut out a mouth shape and add silly rectangle teeth!)
Now, draw an oval that is large enough to cover your nose and mouth. Cut the oval out and glue the top edge just above your nose. This will make your own lift the flap mask. Enjoy seeing your friend's expressions as you lift each flap!
Decorate your mask to show your new friends what you like. Add colors, drawings, words that help them get to know you better!
The Shape of My Feelings:
Art Therapy Activity
If you are having trouble finding the words to express your emotions, allow yourself the time to express them artistically instead.
Create an emotion mood board. Use shapes, colors and lines to represent emotions.
What color could you use to represent anger? What shape does happy feel like?
What line feels like scared? Create collages with shapes, colors and lines to help express yourself.
Students can be given an emotion to represent or can create a collage and have friends try to determine which emotion they were expressing.
If a student is simply struggling with their emotions that day, allow the blank space to express themselves artistically however they need.
Students can also add to a collective mood board where they create on a communal emotions space and add what that emotion feels like to them.
Annie Wears Gloves:
Exploring the feel of COVID 19 protections
Story Reflection Lesson:
Some of our community workers are not only wearing masks, but gloves as well.
List some workers that use gloves in their jobs. Why do you think they use gloves? Do you think it may make their job easier, harder, safer?
Try performing some tasks with gloves on like coloring, pouring a drink, hammering a golf tee into Styrofoam. How does it feel? Now do these things without gloves. Do they feel the same?
During the story, Finn experiences many emotions as he meets people in his community wearing masks.
Can you name the different emotions Finn was feeling? What other words could you use to describe the way Finn was feeling?
How did Finn's feelings change throughout the story? Make a flow chart to see how his emotions evolved.
Critical thinking: Why do you think seeing Dr. James wearing a mask helped Finn make the connection to the other workers?
Extend the story: Finn felt many different emotions throughout his day. Pick a day to keep a list of all the emotions you feel. How many did you have? Can you identify the causes of those emotions? If you were having difficulties with an emotion, what did you do to manage it?
Pots and Pans Appreciation:
Thanking your Community Workers
One of Finn's favorite activities was when he and his brother banged pots and pans to thank the community workers in his neighborhood.
There are many ways to say thank you.
Each day, learn how to say thank you in a different language. For the older grades, find the country that would use that language on a map.
Brainstorm a list of community helpers that you would like to thank.
Color, draw or write them a thank you letter and send it to them.
Find a picture of your mayor, governor or local town official. Draw a picture of them and send a thank you letter along with it.
The Park is Closed:
Finding Other Ways to Play
In the story, Finn was not allowed to play on the playground even though he wanted to. The Mayor gave him a new idea on how to spend his time at the park.
What did she suggest? Did Finn like that idea? Why do you think the playground is closed for now?
If your playground isn't open right now to play, what other things are you still able to do safely?
Create a list of alternative ways to play safely until the playground opens up again.
Your Favorite Story Character can Be A Helper too:
Find your favorite story book and cut out masks to cover the faces on each character throughout the story. Read it together with the masks on. See how the story stays the same? Our stories of who we are, how we live and feel also stay the same while we wear our masks to be helpers. Keep healthy and keep your masks on to be great helpers!
Compare and Contrast: (gr.1/3)
Our community functions a little differently under our new COVID guidelines. This can be confusing to our younger citizens, just like it was for Finn.
Each time Finn met up with a new community helper, he felt uneasy about things that were now different, but found comfort in things that remained the same. For each character in the story, compare what was the same to Finn and what was different.
Extend the story: Think about your own community. Using a venn diagram or other graphic organizer, choose a location in your community like the post office, the park, the grocery store. Think about what it was like before Covid safety guidelines and now after. What is the same? What is different? How do you feel about the changes? Write these feelings down.
How Do You Feel?
Exploring emotions with masks on
Making faces can be silly and fun, but they also help us understand how people are feeling. While we wear our masks, it can be more difficult to see how our friends are feeling.
Play a game of charades where you try to guess what emotion someone is feeling while they are wearing their mask. What other parts of the body help show us some clues? Observe your friends eyes, eye brows, shoulders, arms, hands, back to see if you can decide how they are feeling.
With our masks on, it can still be hard to see how someone is feeling. It is important now to ask our friends how they are feeling to better understand. Work together to build words that you can use to replace facial expressions and body language so others are able to know how you are feeling. Create a list of emotions together or use the following situations and brainstorm words that you could use to explain your emotions.
-You aren't able to play ball with your friend at recess.
-You see your favorite teacher again in the hallway or on a virtual classroom.
-You worked really hard on a project and it turned out well.
-The fire alarm is going off and is very loud.
-You miss your mom.
-Your favorite snack is in your lunch box.
Help each other express emotions with masks on. Draw pictures of a face expressing a feeling. Use a mirror to help! Observe the shape of your eyes, eyebrows, forehead, mouth. After completing your drawing, place a mask over the nose and mouth by cutting an oval large enough to cover both. Glue the top edge just over the nose. Create a bulletin board or an emotions book with these pictures to share with your friends what the facial expressions of these emotions look like with and without a mask on. Have open access to this book for reference. You can add a list of situations (or picture representations for the little ones) that may apply to these emotions as reference.
Reading with Miss Mayor:
Finn was so excited to see Miss Mayor again. He loved when she was a secret reader to his class.
If you could have someone read you a story, who would you like it to be? What story would you like to read together?
Ask a parent or community volunteer to video themselves reading a book and share it with your class.
During the COVID 19 quarantine, many authors and celebrities recorded themselves reading their books. Share these videos with your students to add to your shared reading time. My favorites are Mo Willems, Betty White, or this site:
Finn was so excited when he was on his way to the park, but learned that the park was closed "temporarily".
What do you think "temporarily" means? Define and discuss the concept of temporary. Can you think of other things that are temporary? How does knowing that the changes we are facing due to COVID 19 will be temporary affect how you feel?
Finn Sees a Seal!
When Finn and Doodle sat down by the harbor, they didn't see as many big boats as they used to. They saw many more birds and even a seal.
Why do you think that Finn was able to see more animals than usual?
During quarantine, people were asked to stay inside more and to travel less. This meant we did not use our cars, trains and airplanes as much as we usually do. Think about how these changes could impact animals and the nature around us.
Create a cause/effect chart to identify some of the changes to our environment and nature that occurred with less traveling.
Talk to people in your community and ask them if they saw any more or new animals during quarantine verses before quarantine. Take some time to see if you can see these animals as well!
Keeping Each Other Safe:
In the story, Grandma thanks Finn for helping her stay healthy.
What did Finn do that helped keep Grandma healthy? What other things can we do to keep each other healthy?
Make a list of things YOU can do to be a great helper during COVID 19.
We Can All Be Helpers:
The Science of Masks
One important way to understand why we are being asked to wear masks is to understand how they work!
Germs like to move in many different ways. They can travel on our hands. On our skin. In our noses and mouths. As much as we love to share, it is important not to share our germs. This is why things like washing our hands, and covering our coughs/ sneezes is so important.
COVID 19 germs like to travel through the wet air that comes from our noses and mouths. In order to keep these germs from spreading, we need to cover our nose and mouth. A mask is a way to keep air from traveling too fast or too far.
Think of the times you played parachute at gym time. If your school or learning center allows, play with a parachute to experiment. If you do not have access to a parachute, you can use toy parachutes easily ordered online or create your own.
See how the air moves more slowly as the parachute goes down? The layer of fabric "catches" the air and makes it move more slowly. The more slow the air moves, the shorter it will travel. So when we wear a mask, we are helping to slow down the wet air from our nose and mouth so it will not travel as far.