A Writer's Playground

Monthly Activities for Kids by Linda Martin Andersen

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Posts Tagged ‘Tsunamis Awareness Week’

It’s Not Fair

Posted by lindamartinandersen on March 8, 2013

“It’s Not Fair” 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.

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 FAIRNESS, defined as “playing by the rules, taking turns, sharing and listening.”  To promote this trait, I selected a delightful picture book written by Darcy Pattison and illustrated by Steven Salerno.  It’s entitled 19 Girls and Me.


When you think of fairness, a nagging saying probably echoes in your mind:  “It’s not fair.”  Children say it.  Adults probably think it, but most won’t admit they do.  Here are some children’s books titles that include this expression:  It’s Not Fair by Charlotte Zolotow, It’s Not Fair!  by Anita Harper and It’s Not Fair! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal & Tom Lichtenheld.  Check these books out for more on this saying.

This month I chose to spotlight a book about fairness that does not include the words “it’s not fair.”  In 19 Girls and Me, Darcy’s Pattison’s main character, John Hercules Po, is assigned to a kindergarten classroom full of girls.   John Hercules Po’s older brother tells him that the girls will turn him into a sissy, but John has a different plan.

19 Girls and Me is delightful.  It isn’t predictable.  The children’s imaginations are at play.  The end result is a win, win, situation.

Adults, the next time you hear someone say, “That’s not fair,” I hope you’ll remember to pull a copy of this book from a shelf and read how John Hercules Po and the 19 girls in his classroom chose to  handle their “unfair” situation in a positive way.   19 Girls and Me becomes an interactive reading by encouraging listeners to act out the scenes as they are read.  The audience can also call “Lunch” when it’s time.

Ask students to identify their favorite day of the week from the story.  Ask what happened that day on the playground?  Name something that surprised you in the story.  How did you expect the story to end?  How did John describe his classmates at the end of the book?  How do you feel about that?

Girls, have you ever been called a tomboy?  Boys, have you ever been called a sissy?  What do those words mean?  I’ve heard these called “fighting words.”  What do you think that means?  

If you’re a children’s author, I recommend checking out Darcy Pattison’s blog and upcoming novel revision retreats.  http://www.darcypattison.com/

March 24-30 is Tsunami Awareness Week–

and in observance of this, I’d like to suggest checking out another title by Darcy Pattison: Wisdom, the Midway Albatross, the oldest known bird in the world and one that has survived tsunamis and other natural disasters. 



Check for other books by Darcy Pattison at her website.

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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

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