A Writer's Playground

Monthly Activities for Kids by Linda Martin Andersen

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Posts Tagged ‘telling the truth’

What Does an Old Cricket Have to Do With Trustworthiness?

Posted by lindamartinandersen on February 22, 2013


“What Does an Old Cricket Have to Do With Trustworthiness?” by Linda Martin Andersen

 

Welcome to “A Writer’s Playground”–A place to find wordplay, writing, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart.

Think of February and Washington’s birthday and you may recall the story of a cherry tree, an axe, and George’s honesty.  Hopefully, after reading this post, when you think of February, you’ll also think of Old Cricket, Lisa Wheeler, and trustworthiness.

When I was an elementary School Counselor in Cumberland County, NC, students studied character traits each month. Through blog posts at “A Writer’s Playground,” I continue to spread the word about good character. 

This month, like the Cumberland County Schools in Fayetteville, NC, I present the character trait of TRUSTWORTHINESS, which is defined as “telling the truth and keeping promises.”  To promote this trait, I selected one of my favorite read-aloud picture books by Lisa Wheeler.  

Adults, you’ll enjoy reading this as much as readers love hearing it.  Whether reading for one or a whole classroom, encourage interactive participation.  Point out body parts and repeat the sound effects made by Old Cricket’s physical ailments. 

Before reading, predict what Old Cricket says or does that gets him in trouble.  Remember, one of the book’s themes is trustworthiness.  Does Old Cricket tell a lie?  Does he break a promise?  What do you think he might have promised or said that was a lie?  Read the book to see if you’re correct.

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Look closely at the book jacket.  Is Old Cricket putting on his hat?  Is this a scene from the book?  I’d like to send a response to Old Cricket and to Lisa Wheeler:  I’m tipping my hat to both of you. Readers, do you know what that means?  Why would I make this gesture?  After reading the book, see if you agree with my actions.  Why or why not?

Learn about Old Cricket and many other picture book titles by Lisa Wheeler here:

http://www.lisawheelerbooks.com/LW/cricket.html

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For activities created for Old Cricket by two different guide authors, please check the links below:

http://www.lisawheelerbooks.com/LW/activities_files/old_cricket_activities_2.pdf

http://www.lisawheelerbooks.com/LW/activities_files/OldCricket.pdf

If you’re a children’s author, I recommend checking out Lisa Wheeler’s upcoming boot camps.

http://www.lisawheelerbooks.com/LW/boot_camp.html

I’d love to hear about a time you told the truth or kept a promise.  Or perhaps you’d like to tell about a time when you didn’t tell the truth or you didn’t keep a promise.  What happened?  Did anyone discover what you’d done?  Did you admit you had done wrong?  Did you apologize? Please leave a comment below.

Thank you for joining us at “A Writer’s Playground.”  Come again soon and bring a friend.

Copyright © 2013 Linda Martin Andersen

Posted in Careers, Character Traits, Games, Interviews, Math, Monthly Activities, Reading, Science, Social Studies, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Meet Donna Earnhardt, a Debut Picture Book Author. Book Giveaway included.

Posted by lindamartinandersen on October 2, 2012


A Writer’s Playground”–A place to find wordplay, writing, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart.

Today, we have a chance to meet someone who likes wordplay so much that she chose it as the title of her first published picture book–Being Frank.  The title is a play on words because the main character’s name is Frank and the book is about being frank with others.   

Being Frank means–being honest without worrying if someone’s feelings might be hurt, telling it like it is, being straightforward, outspoken, or blunt. 

 Donna Earnhardt, author of Being Frank  

http://www.flashlightpress.com/author_illustrator_Donna_Earnhardt.html

http://wordwranglernc.wordpress.com/

                                                                                                Illustrator of Being Frank:Andrea Castellani 

http://www.flashlightpress.com/author_illustrator_Andrea_Castellani.html

http://andreacastellani.blogspot.com/

Check out the illustrations. 

Flashlight Press, publishing company of Being Frank

 http://www.flashlightpress.com/Being_Frank.html.  View the inside of the book too.

 

  Available at Amazon.com.  See address below:

 http://tinyurl.com/c8kgp9n

Read all about it! Being Frank by Donna Earnhardt and illustrated by Andrea Castellani was released October 2012 by Flashlight Press.  Donna is one of my good writer friends.  I wanted you to meet her; so I invited her for a visit.

Please welcome Donna Earnhardt.

*Applause.*

1.  Being Frank, your debut picture book, is now published. I’m so excited for you.  How does it feel?  Do you keep pinching yourself to see if it’s real?

I am so excited I think I’ve left footprints on the ceiling. Unfortunately, my dust bunnies don’t clean up there, either.  

2.  “A Writer’s Playground” is a great place for readers to learn about careers.  Could you share with us about your decision to become a writer and the steps you took to reach your goal?

I have been writing since I was a little girl. It wasn’t until after my first child was born that I decided to start writing and submitting my work. I learned a lot in those first few years…especially what NOT to do! Joining other writing groups and learning about the business of writing helped tremendously, too.

3.  Donna, what inspired your book Being Frank?

A mix of things inspired me. As a parent, I want to speak the truth in love – and I want my children to do the same. But we don’t always do a great job of it! I wasn’t thinking specifically about that fact when the first line of the book came into my brain – and it didn’t really hit me that the book was about that until AFTER I’d written it. Also, my dad’s first name was Frank. So it’s a cool tribute to his memory!

4.  “A Writer’s Playground” encourages good character traits on and off the playground. Would you speak about what it means to be frank?  When could being frank cause problems?

Telling the truth is a good thing – always. But delivering the message in such a way that the hearer receives it in the way it is intended is the tricky part. If your best friend has grass in her hair and asks if she looks okay, you’ll want to tell her she has grass in her hair. But if she has on a shirt that she loves… but happens to be your least favorite color… you don’t need to point that out. If she asks, “How does this green shirt look on me?”, you need to listen to what she is really asking. She’s not asking if YOU like the color. She’s asking if you think she looks nice. You can think she looks nice without loving the color. Find the positive and go with it! If, however, she asks if you like the color, be truthful… but kind. You could answer, “You know that purple is my favorite color, but that green looks really nice on you.”

Again – it’s the truth. You just have to figure out how to share it without hurting others.

 5.  Donna, would Frank, your book’s main character, have any good character trait tips for readers? 

Hmmm… he would probably NOT be the best one to ask that question! But if you did ask him, he would probably tell you it’s best if you don’t tell your teacher she has bad breath. Nothing good can come from it. Just pop a mint in your mouth and then offer her one. If she asks why, respond, “I didn’t want to be rude and keep them all to myself.” You’ll be telling the truth and doing it in a nice way! 

6.  Donna, did you have a favorite playground as a child?  Do you recall learning any valuable lessons there?  What were they?

Oooh.. that’s a deep question! I played on the playground at Cordova Elementary School. But I mainly played with my sister, cousins and neighborhood friends in our backyards. I learned a lot in both places.

I think the biggest thing I learned is that you can’t force people to be your friends. And if you feel like you have to do that, then they are probably not the folks you need in your life.

7.  Could you share what you are writing at this time?

I just finished up a couple of new picture books and a new chapter book. The CB is set in the Outer Banks of NC. I hope to get out there one day! I am also working on a mystery (for adults) that I started over 10 years ago.

8.  Donna, is there anything else you’d like to tell the readers here?

Thanks to all who have read this interview, bought my book already or intend to!  This is a dream come true and I’m so very thankful for this whole experience. And thank you, Linda, for being such a great interviewer AND friend!

Let’s all thank Donna Earnhardt for visiting “A Writer’s Playground” today.  And now for a special GIVEAWAY announcement. 

Please leave a comment and your email address below to be entered in a drawing for a signed copy of Being Frank.  The contest is open to anyone in the USA and ends at midnight EST on Friday, October 5, 2012.  The winner will be announced on Monday, October 8, 2012.

Don’t forget to shop for a copy of  Being Frank at the websites above or at a local store near you.

Thank you Donna Earnhardt for the interview and for making this giveaway possible.

Copyright © 2012 Linda Martin Andersen

Posted in Careers, Character Traits, Interviews, Monthly Activities, Reading, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments »

 
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