We read Helpful Henry by Shen Roddie.
Henry’s mum woke with a horrid headache. ‘You stay in bed,’ said Henry. ‘I’ll make you better.....'
What a caring hippo he was - or at least he tried to be. He tried to make her a cup of tea; to take a snack up to her; to choose his favourite story* to read to her - but everything seemed to go wrong. In fact, by the end of the story, we weren't really quite sure whether Henry had succeeded in making his mum feel better - but we all agreed that he had done his best to care for her.
This led us to discuss the kinds of things we have either done ourselves or seen others do in order to make someone else feel better. Then we painted to illustrate how caring we or others have been.
This is what we had to say as we worked:
Lots of people felt it was important to be caring towards people who hurt themselves.
"If someone falls down then you have to help them stand up and then you can help them go to the nurse slowly. That is being caring," explained Martin.
Raami said, "I drew a butterfly and a house and somebody is caring for a friend; he fell over."
Viivi told us, "I am caring. Somebody fell down from a tree and I can help her."
Shani too. "I am caring. I made a picture of somebody playing and they fell down. I can help make them feel better," she said.
Meghna explained, "There is a girl who has fallen off a slide and someone is going to help her and take her to the nurse. They are being caring."
And Virginia told us, "A girl was in the playground and she went on the swing and she fell off. Someone came and helped and took her to the nurse. She was being caring."
Owen shared this. "I am caring. When a person goes down the slide too fast and they scrape their knee, I can ask, ‘Do you need me to help you?’"
Leon too. "Someone was running and they fell down. Then someone brought them to the nurse. They were being caring."
Others amongst us thought of another way of being caring; by including people who have no-one to play with in their games.
Tatiana said, "I am caring. I did a painting about me and my friend at the playground and someone was there and after he had no-one to play with we told him to play with us."
Dasha felt the same. "I am caring when I play on the playground with my friends. I can say, ‘Come and play with me.'"
Mark too. "My picture shows about people who are making friends. They are being caring about each other," he said.
Thomas and Chloe focused on the need to care for plants.
Thomas said, "I am caring. I like nature and I care about plants."
Chloe added, "I am caring about plants; I am watering the flowers."
As well as caring for plants, we should care for animals too.
Quentin explained, "I am caring. I care about animals; my grandma has a little cat and she gives it food."
Sharukh is also an animal lover. "I am caring. My painting is about caring for animals. I used to have rabbits and chickens and dogs." After a little bit of brainstorming, we came up with a list of some of the things a dog needs: food, water, bones and love.
Having a caring attitude on the football field or the playground is also important.
Sivert was concerned about injuries. "I am caring. My painting is about football. The rain is coming and it’s slippery and if someone falls they may need me to help them."
Harrison focused on caring for people's feelings. "I am caring. It’s a game of football and someone got injured and the manager had to substitute. Their feelings were hurt. I told them that they played really well!"
And Tommy felt the same. "I am caring. Somebody was playing football and he was goalie and he missed the ball. Someone from his team kicked him. I could say, ‘You tried your best; maybe you can save the ball next time.’"
Aabis and Shahrbano focused on the playground.
"I am caring," said Aabis. "I care for someone when I push them on the swing to help them go."
Shahrbano also likes to help out with the swings. "I am caring. I drew me pushing someone on the swing."
Seyf was proud of his painting. "It was nice. It is to come and see the people who are not feeling well."
I wonder what other examples of caring acts we can come up with. We have begun a list. If anyone in Class 2i is caring towards another person, or sees an example of someone else being caring, that goes on the list. How long do you think our list will grow? What a caring class we will be!
*Oh, and Henry's favourite story? It was this one, 'I'm Coming To Get You', by Tony Ross