Cindy Hewitt is a retired teacher with a passion for children's literature. Read-aloud stories add quality to a child's life experiences.
Fun Read Aloud to Help with a Lesson on Looking on the Bright Side
Little Rabbit is stuck in the house on a rainy day. All kinds of things are making him grouchy. Being bored is no fun and the rain won't stop. The worst final straw is that he stubs his toe after a tantrum! His old friend Bear tries to comfort Rabbit with sharing the sad feelings, but Rabbit is not to be comforted. Bear finally has had enough and decides to teach Rabbit a lesson in appreciation for what he does have vs. what he does not have. Bear drags Rabbit outside and finds a surprising way to teach this lesson. Bear uses a little earthworm to teach the lessons of empathy and looking on the bright side. This creative picture book is a good choice for parents to share in a family reading time to teach these lessons.
Tim Beiser's There,There is written in simple text for easy reading. Each page is filled with large illustrations that will engage young readers in the story. Rabbit's tantrums and facial expressions contribute to the hilarity of the story. The story concludes with the little earthworm's hurt feelings from being used by Bear to teach a lesson. The lesson of empathy comes out with discovery of the earthworm's hurt feelings.
There, There was published by Tundra Books, a division of Penguin/Random House Publishers. It is recommended for ages 3-7 and has an ISBN of 978-1-77049-752-8.
Lessons of Empathy and Looking on the Bright Side
Meet the Author and Illustrator
Tim Beiser is a notable author of children's books. He spent 16 years as a playwright and as a writer of science fiction short-stories. Two of his works for children have been nominated for the Governor General's Award, Canada's highest literary award.
Bill Slavin contributed his talents as an illustrator for Beiser's There, There. Slavin has illustrated over one hundred books for children. He is the recipient of the Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator's Award, the Blue Spruce Award, the California Young Reader Medal, and the Zena Sutherland Award for Children's Literature.
Slavin's Colorful Illustrations Contribute to This Engaging Picture Book
Teaching Empathy and Gratitude to Young Children
The characteristic of empathy is different for every child. There are different degrees of empathy that children are able to learn. Parents play a large part in helping children in the development of this characteristic. Parents can model this characteristic and find ways to teach that looking on the bright side of life is part of having empathy for others.
There are several skills that are needed in order for children to develop empathy. Children must learn to have a self-awareness of their own feelings and to be able to distinguish their own feelings from others. Children need to learn to take the perspective of others in a given situation. Children should be able to control their own responses and emotions in a given situation. Young children will recognize Rabbit's temper tantrums as a negative response to his boredom. Parents can use the illustrations of Rabbit's tantrums in Beiser's There,There as a springboard for a discussion about managing emotions that young children have in their daily lives.
Gratitude for what one has instead of complaining about what one doesn't have goes together with learning the lesson of empathy. Bear models this lesson in gratitude by taking Rabbit to see the little earthworm. Parents can use the end of the story when little earthworm's feelings are hurt as a springboard for helping children to learn the concept of empathy.
Bear Shows the Plight of the Earthworm
Teaching Empathy in the Classroom
Teachers might like to use Beiser's There,There to teach a lesson in empathy in an early childhood classroom. Bullying is a hot topic in education, and early childhood teachers know that teaching a skill such as having empathy in the early years can help to stop bullying in later years.
Lesson Plan for Using the Book:
1. Read aloud in a story time period.
2. Allow the children to express ideas about Rabbit's tantrums
3. Brainstorm at the end of the story about the hurt feelings of the little earthworm and how Rabbit could learn from this experience.
Teaching Empathy and Gratitude
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.