Elmer

Elmer

Title: Elmer

Author: David McKee

Description: Elmer the elephant isn’t like all the other elephants. He’s colorful and struggles with that difference. After trying to be like all the other elephants and failing, he realizes how much his friends appreciate his uniqueness.

Goals:

  • Friendship
  • Social Skills
  • Narrative language/Retelling
  • Animal Vocabulary

Why I like this book: A good example of appreciating people’s differences, and teaching children to be themselves.

Ideas for this book:

  • Have each child come up with something they can do (i.e. sometimes do friends ideas even if it isn’t exactly what they want, ask a friend what their favorite game is and play it together, let another friend go first, etc.), or something that they are good at, that makes their friends think/feel positively towards them. Discuss how Elmer was good at making the other elephants laugh and enjoy themselves. This made his friends like him, and want to spend time with him. Could they use one of their “talents” or traits to enjoy their time with friends? Maybe they are great at legos- they could make a lego tower together with a friend? Maybe they are good at drawing- they could draw a picture for their friend of their friend’s favorite thing. Encourage discussion around what others are thinking about and feeling when they do these things. They could even draw pictures of this, and share. Use thinking and speaking bubbles to demonstrate how what friends would be thinking and saying.
  • If in a group- have kids each come up with something positive about another group member. What is something that they like about that friend? What makes them special? Again, pair with thinking and speaking bubbles.
  • A great story to identify story grammar elements (i.e. characters, setting, initiating event, etc.). I like to pair with MindwingConcepts story grammar marker /”Braidy” to help students identify and retell the story.
  • Have children retell using “Braidy” or using the pictures from the story. Encourage temporal markers and cohesive ties during their retell.
  • Elmer walks through the jungle and sees various jungle animals. Have children describe and generate other jungle animals. Great to pair with the Expanding Expression Tool (EET) for added description. Could also work on comparing and contrasting of various animals.
  • At the end of the story, the elephants each color themselves in honor of Elmer one day a year. Provide students with an elephant, and have them decorate their own. How would they design themselves? If in a group- a great activity to see how everyone would color themselves differently. Discuss how we all are different, and have different ideas in our head. A great discussion for how much more interesting life is because of our differences. This is illustrated well in this story.

Submitted by; Meghan G. Graham M.S. CCC-SLP

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