Author:
OLIVIA OLLIS
Subject:
Visual Arts, Reading Literature, Speaking and Listening
Material Type:
Lesson
Level:
Lower Primary
Tags:
  • Art History
  • Character Education
  • Character Traits
  • Courage
  • Pattern
  • SEL
    License:
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike
    Language:
    English
    Media Formats:
    Other

    Education Standards

    Character Education: Everyday Courage in Arnie and the Skateboard Gang

    Character Education: Everyday Courage in Arnie and the Skateboard Gang

    Overview

    Read aloud activity for K-3 that ties in with the character trait "Courage."

    After reading Arnie and the Skateboard Gang, students will explore pattern in Amy Sherald's painting of Michelle Obama and then create their own pattern.

    Activating Knowledge

    Read definition of courage:

    Having the determination to do the right thing even when others don't. Having the strength to follow your conscience rather than the crowd. Attempting difficult things that are worthwhile. 

    Unpack the definition and restate the sentences in kid-friendly words. Point out that every day courage is just as important as the courage to do big things. The story is about every day courage.

    Courage means:

    Having the determination to do the right thing even when others don't. Having the strength to follow your conscience rather than the crowd. Attempting difficult things that are worthwhile. 

    Look and Listen

    Read "Arnie and the Skateboard Gang" by Nancy Carlson.

    Point out that Carlson likes colorful patterns and is known for using them in her books. Note the colorful patterns on the cover and have students look for colorful patterns in the book.

    Discussion Questions:

    What might have happened to Arnie when he was learning to ride the skateboard? How does the illustrator show us he is about to fall?

    Why was Arnie getting better at skateboarding? Do you think it took courage to keep trying? How does that relate to our definition of courage? Is skateboarding worthwhile? (Exercise, hobby, etc.)

    What are Tina and Arnie hoping for by going to the park?

    (Turn-And-Talk) Do you think this is the first time Tina and Arnie have fallen or gotten hurt on the skateboard? What is different about this time? How do you think they feel? (Embarassed...)

    Did it take courage for Arnie and Tina to return to the park?

    How does hanging out at the park with the better skateboarders help Arnie and Tina?

    How do you think Arnie and Tina feel about being accepted by the skateboard gang?

    How does Arnie feel about going to Hairy Kerry Hill? How does the artist show us his feelings?

    How do most of the members of the gang seem to feel about going down the hill?

    The Fly's shirt says "Fearless." Do you think fearless is a good thing to be right now? (Introduce the word "foolhardy.")

    What happened to The Fly? Was he courageous or foolhardy?

    Arnie's choices are to go down the hill and risk getting hurt or to risk being called chicken or fraidy cat. Which option do you think takes more courage? Why?

    Everyone is following Arnie now. Why? What was the coolest choice to make? Does the gang want to follow someone foolhardy who will lead them into unnecessary danger or someone courageous but smart who thinks about safety?

    In the first Harry Potter book, Dumbledore tells Neville Longbottom: "It takes courage to stand up to your enemies, but even more courage to stand up to your friends." How did Arnie stand up to The Fly? Why was that courageous?

     

    Be ready to participate in class discussion.

    Following Up on Patterns

    Provide strips of white construction paper cut to 9" X 2" strips and colorful markers.

    If time permits, allow students to share their pattern choices and where they got the inspiration for their pattern and colors.

    Using colorful markers on a strip of paper, make a book mark that shows a pattern in your favorite colors.

    Patterns by Amy Sherald

    Description

    Read Arnie and the Skateboard Gang by Nancy Carlson. Point out that Carlson uses patterns in the illustrations of her book. Students will use critical thinking skills to explore the patterns in Amy Sherald’s painting of Michelle Obama.

     

    Activity

    1. Take 2-3 quiet minutes to study Amy Sherald’s painting of Michelle Obama. https://npg.si.edu/object/npg_NPG.2018.15
    2. Students will then discuss what they SEE, what they THINK and what they WONDER.
    3. Students will then draw an item of clothing (shirt, pants, dress, hat, etc.) and add a colorful pattern.