Created by: Brittney Owen
Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes
I remember reading this book when I was younger and the encouragement that this book offers to be confident in who we are. This story follows a young mouse named Chrysanthemum through her first week at school and her experience with other classmates. Everyone has something that is a little different about them, and this book follows Chrysanthemum’s journey in learning how to be confident about her name. Learning how to be confident in ourselves is a lifelong journey. This book introduces the concept of confidence and discourages children from making fun of others for their differences.
Read Aloud: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7fkR7X4SevE
Compare & Contrast
What are things that you love about yourself?
How did you feel when Chrysanthemum was no longer confident about her name? Why do you think people tease each other?
What are some of the ways that Chrysanthemum got her confidence back about her name? How can we become confident when we are insecure about something?
How can our differences and similarities be something that can bring us together?
Is there a way to be better friends with people who are different from us?
Relevant Identity & Diversity Standards for Grades K-2
Identity Standard 4: I can feel good about myself without being mean or making other people feel bad.
Diversity Standard 6: I like being around people who are like me and different from me, and I can be friendly to everyone.
Diversity Standard 9: I know everyone has feelings, and I want to get along with people who are similar to and different from me.
Action Standard 19: I will speak up or do something if people are being unfair, even if my friends do not.
Tools for Teaching Kids about Diversity
This video would be a helpful tool for parents when teaching children about why others look, behave, eat, or celebrate differently than us. This list could be used in everyday conversation about diversity in a way that teaches kids to appreciate differences.
Respond promptly and encourage question asking.
Give simple answers, and relate them to children’s experiences.
Acknowledge children’s fears and teach them vocabulary to talk about them.
Challenge yourself to learn more about different cultures and traditions.
Encourage kids to see differences as natural. Some differences are not better than others.
Activities After You Read
Encourage children to write a list of things that they like about themselves.
Have them write a letter to Chrysanthemum, and encourage them to focus on supportive words that can bring her confidence.
Watch this video with them about how to stand up to bullying. Talk with them about what they think they can do in the future.