The students at Memorial Elementary School participated in a school-wide project that encouraged self-confidence and self-belief, and celebrated the diversity of the world around them.
The students had the opportunity to have the book, Only One You, by Linda Kranz read to them as part of their Library curriculum. The book focuses on Adri, a small fish whose parents decide that the time has come for them to share some worldly wisdom with him, such as “Find your own way. You don’t have to follow the crowd,” and “Blend in when you need to. Stand out when you have the chance.”
The book is illustrated with beautifully painted rocks that look like fish. At the end of the story, Adri’s parents remind him just how unique he is and encourage him to swim off and make a difference in the world.
The theme of the book was carried throughout the curriculum. For example, in music class, students learned a song about love and kindness.
All Memorial students were asked to bring a rock to school, of a size that would fit in the palm of their hand. In their art classes, they were asked to paint them using acrylic paint. On the bottom of every rock, the students painted an inspiring word.
Art teachers Kristen Johnson and Amy Mittner sprayed a protective coating on all of the rocks and they were placed in a newly-created “Only One You” rock garden located at the back of the school near the parent pick-up area.
As the students began to paint their rocks, one second grade student exclaimed, “This is going to be so cool!”
Before their rocks were placed in the rock garden, students used their STEAM skills to estimate how many rocks would fill up the garden. They wrote about their rock and used the “face talk” app to record what they wrote to be able to share their recording with others.
Additionally, the students were able to select a piece of paper with an inspiring message on it that they colored. Messages included “I will learn from others,” “This may take some time,” “I grow my brain by learning hard things,” and “Never give up.” The brightly colored messages were hung throughout the school.
The goal of the project was to encourage students to develop positive behaviors and understand the importance of being kind and doing the right thing. The rock garden is a beautiful reminder to everyone who sees it that, ‘There is only one you in the world…Make it a better place!”
Memorial rocks! Please click here
to see some photos of second graders painting their rocks and students placing their rocks in the rock garden.