Each year as September 11 nears, I begin thinking about the best ways to honor this day, to help people’s sacrifices never be forgotten. For young students who did not live through this day in 2001, it can have little, if any, meaning, but all children can understand the importance of lending others a helping hand. So that has become my focus for this year.
One creative way to help students begin to see the positive effects even seemingly small acts of kindness can have on others is through a study of the life of John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed. Born September 26, 1774, his legacy lives on centuries later and can be explored through texts and resources like these:
Johnny Appleseed by Steven Kellogg
Johnny Appleseed by Reeve Lindbergh
Johnny Appleseed by Jodie Shepherd
Seeing Johnny Appleseed’s impact on the world can help inspire your students to make a difference in the lives of those around them. Even small deeds can make a difference… just like planting one apple seed at a time.
Using this month’s freebie, the Helping Hands activity, students can share ways they plan to use their hands to help others.
Need more inspiration? Here are ten other stories that show the power of a helping hand:
Always Copycub by Richard Edwards
A Chair for My Mother by Vera Williams
Four Feet, Two Sandals by Karen Lynn Williams
A Frog Thing by Eric Drachman
The Giant Jam Sandwich by John Vernon Lord
The Lady in the Box by Ann McGovern and Marni Backer
Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney
New York’s Bravest by Mary Pope Osborne
Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelts and Noah Jones
The Three Questions by Jon Muth