Mr. B's Hopes and Dreams Lesson
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Materials needed: Where the Sidewalk Ends, Amazing Grace doll, pencils, papers, crayons.

The Amazing Grace lesson will help develop positive self-esteem in your classroom.  It encourages students to dream, set goals, and work toward those goals.

Intro/Anticipatory Set: Read Shel Silverstein poem, The Little Blue Engine a few times (page 158).  Have a brief discussion about it.  Let students know that in addition to thinking about something they want to accomplish, they also must work toward it.

Have another brief discussion on what the students want to be when they "grow up."  You may want to mention that it is OK if you are not sure what you want to be.  Then add, "When I was in Kindergarten, first I wanted to be a policeman, then a football player, and at the end of the year, I wanted to be a teacher."

Introduce the book, Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman.  Take a few predictions from the students on what they think the book is about.

Read the book to the students.  You can have the students pass around the Grace doll while you are reading.

By hearing the story, Amazing Grace, the students will be inspired to think about what they want to be or what they like doing for fun and enjoyment now.  After reading the story, have a discussion about hard work, setting goals, working toward those goals, and exploring activities (i.e., going to the ballet) that will help you reach those goals.

Then ask a student to share what they want to be when they grow up.  Model their answer on the board.  Make sure the answer is a complete sentence.  Pass out paper, crayons, and pencils.  Work with students in small groups.  Have each student tell you their future dreams.  Write them down on a post-it.  Have the kids complete the sentence with the answer the student just gave you.  Then send them back to their seat to draw a picture to compliment their writing.

With about five minutes left in the lesson, have the students gather in a large group and have them share their answers.  Save their work.  This is a fun lesson to revisit at the end of the school year.  Also, if anyone in your class wants to be
 a  police officer or a doctor, we can have the students meet one.  If the student wants to be an athlete, you can have them write a letter to their favorite player.  Finally, reread the poem, The Little Blue Engine again.  Remind them to think and work hard toward their goals.