Sometimes you come across a book or an activity that you know will change your teaching. The days you come across a book and an activity that will change your teaching it's Like Magic. For years, I've done two activities in my class. One activity, the brown bag activity, we do at the beginning of the year to get to know one another. Everyone brings in three items in an unmarked brown paper bag. Then, I pull out the three items and we try to guess the owner of the bag. Last, the owner explains why he/she put the items in the bag. The other thing I do is a Star of the Week activity. Each week we a different class member brings in a photo of herself and beneath it a few of her favorite things and her favorite recipe. At the end of the year, I collate all the Star of the Week photos and recipes into a class yearbook that kids can sign.
Like Magic is going to improve both of these activities. Instead of having kids bring in a brown paper bag, I'm going to ask them to decorate a shoebox and put their three items inside inside their treasure box. Then, after I share my box I'll explain that this is going to be the class's treasure box. I'm the first Star of the Week. At the end of my week, I'll leave a homemade treasure in our class box that the next Star of the Week will take. That Star of the Week will leave a treasure in the box for the following Star of the Week and so on.
The activity below features the treasure box. The suggestion is to use a wooden box, but shoeboxes are free.
Activity Name: Treasure Box
Activity Description: "In the middle grade novel Like Magic by Elaine Vickers (HarperCollins), three lonely tween girls find friendship through a book-shaped treasure box in their library. Inside the box’s lid is printed the message,
Take this treasure,
Leave one of your own,
And remember this truth:
You are not alone.
The girls borrow the “Amicitia” box and leave each other origami stars, poems, music, and art postcards. Through the sharing of these small treasures, the girls create a connection and eventually meet.
Imagine having this friendship-building book on your shelves!" A template was created and is available at Curious City which will show you how to decoupage a book treasure box from standard craft store supplies. You can also print out the file below for step-by-step directions.
Whether it be for one specific student, a small group of kids, or a whole class, finding a "just right" book makes the teacher's and the students' day.