You are here

The Boy With the Rainbow Heart

Rainbow text that reads "The Boy With The Rainbow Heart"

These K-3 lesson plans should be used in conjunction with William Mason's book The Boy With The Rainbow Heart. The accompanying printable worksheets are included in the PDF.

First Grade

Common Core Standards Addressed:

    • CCSSELA-LITERACY.L.1.1 
      • Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking
    • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.1.2.E 
      • Spell untaught words phonetically, drawing on phonemic awareness and spelling conventions.

Read The Boy With the Rainbow Heart aloud and then ask questions to the large group (10 minutes)

After the story is finished, prompt students to identify the main character, the setting, and how the town changed because of the boy, and why that happened.
 

Large Group Questions:
Who was this story about?
Where did the story take place?
What problem did the Boy with the Rainbow heart face during this story?
What was the town like in the beginning of the story?
How did the town change in the story?
Why did this change happen?

Prompt students to make a connection to the real world, asking them to think about how, like the boy, we can show others we care for them and treat them with kindness and respect.

Activity #1 – Character Traits and Vocabulary: Words to Describe the Main Character (35 minutes)

Supplies:
Chart paper 
Markers

Preparation/directions:

Ahead of the lesson, write the following adjectives on chart paper, then cover the chart paper so the students cannot see it:

  • Kind
  • Sweet
  • Happy
  • Helpful
  • Friendly
  • Giving
  • Loving
  • Cheerful
  • Curious
  • Caring
  • Brave
  • Intelligent
  • Awesome
  • Wonderful 
  • Charming 
  • Unique
  • Joyous
  • Remarkable

Pair up your students.

Instruct the class that you will be discussing different examples of character traits. Explain that a character trait is a word that is used to describe, or tell about someone in a story, and that traits can be good and bad.

With your class, provide an example of a character trait: kind. Then, briefly explain what kindness means, and how it describes the Boy with the Rainbow Heart.

Ask your student pairs to think about words that describe the Boy with the Rainbow Heart. Instruct each pair of students to write down as many words as they can that describe the Boy. Explain that they will have exactly 10 minutes. After time is up, they will compare their list with the one you have written on chart paper (covered up at the moment), and give themselves one point for each word they write that also appears on the chart paper.

Set the timer, giving your class 10 minutes to generate words. Encourage the students to write down as many as they can, and to not worry about spelling. Words they are not sure how to spell should be sounded out and spelled phonetically (as best as possible).

When time is up, uncover the list of words on chart paper, going slowly and briefly explaining what the word means if students have never seen it before. Students should give themselves one point for each word they wrote that also appears on the chart paper.

    • Any word that a student writes that does not appear on the chart paper should be evaluated by the teacher; if it does describe the Boy, students should be awarded a point. If it not accurate, students should not receive a point for the word.

 

Students should conclude this activity by choosing their favorite word from the chart paper/an accurate word they generated with their partner that describes the Boy. In one sentence, they should write why that word describes the Boy.

    • Encourage students to spell as best they can, capitalize, and punctuate where necessary.

Station 2 – The Setting and Major Events (Plot): Where the Story Takes Place and Why It Changed (15 minutes)

Students identify the setting and write its name on their paper (the Town of Gray).

Students draw a picture of what the town looked like in the beginning of the story, and then how it looked after the boy showed kindness to others.

Students write one or more sentences about why the town changed from gray to colorful.

*For students who haven’t mastered writing a full sentence yet, encourage them to write just a few words about why the town changed

Station 3 – Share Your Colors

Ahead of this portion of the lesson, write down the names of each of your students inside the heart template (one name per template).

In class, place all of the hearts in a bag/hat. Students should not be able to see the names in the bag.

Explain that each student will pull a heart out of the bag. Each heart has the name of one person in the class on the back of it. On the front is a line where students will write a kind adjective they feel describes their classmate.

Students each take one heart, and write a kind word. Place the hearts secretly back in the bag, and then hand them out to their ‘owner.’

Next, students should color the heart they received from their secret partner with their favorite color/colors. Hearts can be placed on a bulletin board, hung around the classroom, or sent home. 

Second Grade

Common Core Standards Addressed: 

    • CCSSELA-LITERACY.RL.2.1.
      • Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking
    • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.2.3
      • Spell untaught words phonetically, drawing on phonemic awareness and spelling conventions.

Read The Boy With the Rainbow Heart aloud and then ask questions to the large group (10 minutes)

 
After the story is finished, prompt students to identify the main character, the setting, and how the town changed because of the boy, and why that happened.
 
Large Group Questions:
Who was this story about?
Where did the story take place?
What problem did the Boy with the Rainbow heart face during this story?
Why do you think the townspeople in the story “lived in fear” ?
What was the town like in the beginning of the story?
How did the town change in the story?
Why did this change happen?
 
Prompt students to make a connection to the real world, asking them to think about how, like the boy, we can show others we care for them and treat them with kindness and respect.
 
Activity #1 – Character Traits: Describing the Main Character (20 minutes)
 
Pair up your students.
 
Instruct the class to work with their partner to think about character traits that describe the Boy with the Rainbow Heart, the problem the Boy faced in the story, and how he dealt with that problem. Review the accompanying worksheet with the class before beginning.
 
Provide students time (about 12 minutes) to fill out the worksheet together. Pairs of students can then meet up to share their ideas with their classmates.
 
Station 2 – The Setting and Major Events (Plot): Where the Story Takes Place and Why It Changed (15 minutes) 
 
Students identify the setting and write its name on their paper (the Town of Gray).
 
Students draw a picture of what the town looked like in the beginning of the story, and then how it looked after the boy showed kindness to others.
 
Students write a paragraph describing how the Town of Grey changed in the story, and why that change happened.
 
Students should next write how they can show kindness in the world. They should provide real examples that they can begin now (being friendly to someone who needs a friend, inviting a classmate to sit next to them at lunch, writing a kind note to a classmate). They should also write about why it is important to be kind to others.
 
Station 3 – Share Your Colors
 
Ahead of this portion of the lesson, write down the names of each of your students inside the heart template (one name per template).
 
In class, place all of the hearts in a bag/hat. Students should not be able to see the names in the bag.
 
Explain that each student will pull a heart out of the bag. Each heart has the name of one person in the class on the back of it. On the front is a line where students will write a kind adjective they feel describes their classmate.
 
Students each take one heart, and write a kind word. Place the hearts secretly back in the bag, and then hand them out to their ‘owner.’
 
Next, students should color the heart they received from their secret partner with their favorite color/colors. Hearts can be placed on a bulletin board, hung around the classroom, or sent home. 
 

Third Grade

Common Core Standards Addressed: 

    • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.3.1
      • Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking
    • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.3.3
      • Spell untaught words phonetically, drawing on phonemic awareness and spelling conventions.

Read The Boy With the Rainbow Heart aloud and then ask questions to the large group (10 minutes)

After the story is finished, prompt students to identify the main character, the setting, and how the town changed because of the boy, and why that happened.
 
Large Group Questions:
Who was this story about?
Where did the story take place?
What problem did the Boy with the Rainbow heart face during this story?
Why do you think the townspeople in the story “lived in fear” ?
What was the town like in the beginning of the story?
How did the town change in the story?
Why did this change happen?
 
Prompt students to make a connection to the real world, asking them to think about how, like the boy, we can show others we care for them and treat them with kindness and respect.
 
Activity #1 – Character Traits: Describing the Main Character (20 minutes)
 
Pair up your students.
 
Instruct the class to work with their partner to generate adjectives that describe the Boy with the Rainbow Heart on a separate sheet of paper. Set a timer for five minutes, providing students time to list adjectives.
 
After five minutes, project the following question for your students: What did the Boy do to change the Town of Grey to the Town of Shine? How can we treat others the way the Boy with the Rainbow Heart does in the story? Why is this important?
 
Instruct your students that, in their response to the question, they should try to use as many of the adjectives they generated as they can.
 
Once students are finished responding, they can share their work with another pair, or out loud to the whole group.
 
Station 2 – The Setting: Where the Story Takes Place and Why It Changed (15 minutes)
 
Divide the class into two groups. Assign one group to be The Town of Grey, and the other to be the Town of Shine.
 
Each student should draw a picture of a building/home/scene from their version of the Town. Additionally, students should write five or more adjectives that describe their Town. Finally, they should include a slogan that describes the Town.
 
Station 3 – Share Your Colors
 
Ahead of this portion of the lesson, write down the names of each of your students inside the heart template (one name per template).
 
In class, place all of the hearts in a bag/hat. Students should not be able to see the names in the bag.
 
Explain that each student will pull a heart out of the bag. Each heart has the name of one person in the class on the back of it. On the front is a line where students will write a kind adjective they feel describes their classmate.
 
Students each take one heart, and write a kind word. Place the hearts secretly back in the bag, and then hand them out to their ‘owner.’
 
Next, students should color the heart they received from their secret partner with their favorite color/colors. Hearts can be placed on a bulletin board, hung around the classroom, or sent home. 
 

Kindergarten 

Common Core Standards Addressed:

    • With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
    • With prompting and support, retell familiar stories, including key details.
    • With prompting and support, identify characters, settings and major events in a story.

Read The Boy With the Rainbow Heart aloud and then ask questions to the large group (10 minutes)

 
After the story is finished, prompt students to identify the main character, the setting, and how the town changed because of the boy, and why that happened.
 
Large Group Questions:
Who was this story about?
Where did the story take place?
What was the town like in the beginning of the story?
How did the town change in the story?
Why did this change happen?
 
Prompt students to make a connection to the real world, asking them to think about how, like the boy, we can show others we care for them and want to be kind to all people.
 
Station 1 – Character and Vocabulary: Kind Words to Describe Our Friends (15 minutes)
 
Preparation/directions:
Write the following adjectives on popsicle sticks:
  • Kind
  • Sweet
  • Happy
  • Helpful
  • Friendly  
  • Giving
  • Loving
  • Cheerful  
  • Curious  
  • Caring
  • Brave
  • Intelligent  
  • Awesome 
  • Wonderful  
  • Charming
  • Unique 
  • Joyous 
  • Remarkable 
Pair up your students
 
Students choose three sticks with their partner they feel describe the boy with the rainbow heart
 
Students copy the words they have chosen on their papers from the popsicle sticks
 
Inside the heart on their papers, students choose one of the words that describes the boy and a word they also feel describes their partner
 
Students share the word they have chosen to describe their partner to the small group
 
Station 2 – The Setting and Major Events (Plot): Where the Story Takes Place and Why It Changed (15 minutes)
 
Students identify the setting and write its name on their paper (the Town of Gray)
 
Students draw a picture of what the town looked like in the beginning of the story, and then how it looked after the boy showed kindness to others
 
Students write one sentence about why the town changed from gray to colorful
*For students who haven’t mastered writing a full sentence yet, encourage them to write a few words about why the town changed
 
Station 3 – Share Your Colors
 
As a large group, students will color the heart that was made for them by their partner. They should choose a color or colors that they feel show who they are.
 
Students can choose to share their hearts with the large group. The hearts can then be posted to a class bulletin board/around the classroom