1. challenges
  2. character
  3. character education
  4. commitment
  5. compassion
  6. conflict resolution
  7. contentment
  8. cooperation
  9. courage
  10. decision-making
  11. encouragement
  12. filial piety
  13. goals
  14. gratitude
  15. healthy families
  16. healthy lifestyle
  17. integrity
  18. kindness
  19. leadership
  20. life goals
  21. loyalty
  22. marriage
  23. meaningful life
  24. moral education
  25. perseverance
  26. politeness
  27. relationship skills
  28. religion
  29. respect
  30. responsibility
  31. self-awareness
  32. self-improvement
  33. service
  34. sexuality
  35. social awareness
  36. sportsmanship
  37. teamwork
  38. tolerance
  39. trustworthiness

Story

ants.jpg
One day an ant was searching for food along a riverbank to take back to her ant hole. A small gust of wind blew the poor little ant into the river. She was in big trouble! The water was rushing over her very fast!

Luckily, a dove was nearby. The dove saw the ant fall into the water and decided to help her. She quickly found a leaf and grabbed it in her beak, pushing it toward the drowning ant. The ant was able to crawl onto the leaf to safety. The leaf was carried by the river to the shore. The ant hopped off the leaf, thanked the dove, and ran home.

A few days later, the same ant was searching for food again. Her job was to find food for the other ants that lived with her. She was looking around, and there under a tree was the dove that had saved her life! But the dove was in danger!

A boy with a rock was near her. The boy had also seen the dove, but the dove hadn’t seen the boy. The boy was just about to throw the big rock at the dove when the ant raced over to him and bit his bare toe!

As he yelled and reached down to slap the ant, the dove saw the danger she was in. She flew up to a tree branch, while the ant escaped under a nearby rock. “I am so grateful to you, little ant,” the dove sang from the tree.

“And I am grateful to you, dear dove!” said the ant. “Let’s always watch out for each other!” And they did!

Objectives

Cognitive: Students will understand the value of kindness and cooperation. They will understand that when they are kind, others will usually be kind to them.
Affective: Students will feel relieved that both the ant and dove escaped danger, understanding that it was because of kindness that they survived.
Behavioral: Seeing how kindness can benefit them and others, students will choose to be kind to others and help others when they need it.

Class Session 1

Read the story to the children. Mention that another title for this story could be “What You Give Comes Back to You.” Ask them to say it after you; then say it with you. Urge them to try to remember this saying. Now what do they think it means? Point out that another way to say the same thing is, “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” Explain that this is the Golden Rule. Have them repeat that saying. Explain that when you are kind to others, they will probably be kind back to you; when you are not kind to others, they will probably not be kind back to you.

Let students answer the following questions:
  • Why do you think the dove saved the little ant?
  • Why did the ant save the dove?
  • How did the ant feel when the dove saved her?
  • How did the dove feel when the ant saved her?

Mention that being grateful means that you feel happy that someone did something for you. Explain that you feel grateful when you realize that someone is caring about you and trying to help you. When someone does something kind to us, what can we do? We can say, “Thank you!” or “I’m grateful for your help!”

This story has a happy ending because the ant and dove were kind to each other and they cooperated to save each other’s lives. Urge the children to remember the lesson of this story. Have them repeat after you: “What you give comes back to you,” and “Do to others as you would have them do to you.”

Explain that the latter is called The Golden Rule because it is worth so much.

Class Session 2

Explain that it is not surprising that one of the main characters of the story read the other day was an ant. (Mention that “main characters” are the persons and animals that the story talks most about.) In real life, ants live and work together very, very well. Show them the picture above. Explain that each ant in an anthill has a job that helps the other ants in their home. Ant homes are called anthills because they are usually underground and the door is on a small hill of dirt. Inside the anthill there are many connecting tunnels and rooms. Each room has a special purpose. One room is a nursery for baby ants. Another is where food is stored. Guard ants guard the door to the anthill. That’s their job. Explain that the most important ant is bigger than all the others. She is the queen ant. She is the mommy of all the ant babies. The babies are taken care of by nurse ants in the nursery. Ants like the one in the story find food and bring it back to the anthill. In this way, ants take care of each other.

Students can look at the illustration above and draw their own anthills. Have them draw guard ants, baby ants in a nursery, a queen ant, etcetera. They can put the babies in little cribs or blankets if they want to, and put uniforms on the guard ants!

You can lead students outside to see if they can find any food-finding ants like the one in the story. Look for a line of ants. Mention that they are telling each other with their antennae where the food is, and they are helping to carry the food back to their anthill. Explain that their antennae are like people’s ears, noses, and mouths. When they touch each others’ antennae, they tell each other where to go to find the food. This is cooperation!


From: Discovering the Real Me, Book 1. For book orders, click here.

Resources

An animated version of the story

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