This week our guidance counselor, Ms. Filtness, and I collaborated on an awesome lesson with kindergarten! We used the book I Am Bored written by Michael Ian Black and illustrated by Debbie Ridpath Ohi. In the story, the little girl is very bored and can't think of anything to do. Then, she meets a potato who is also bored. He tells her he thinks kids are boring, too. This encourages the girl to brainstorm and imagine all of the amazing things that kids can do therefore proving to the potato that kids aren't boring. We acted the story out for our children as a reader's theater complete with character puppets. Our first graders will be able to act this reader's theater out in pairs.
After we read the story aloud, we had the kids talk about what it feels like to be bored. They gave examples of times that they were feeling bored. We discussed how the potato tricked the little girl in the story into using her imagination to brainstorm all of the non-boring things that she could do. We told the kids that we were going to practice using our imagination and creativity to do the same. We gave each team of two students a potato and asked them to think of as many things they could think of that they could do with a potato. We charted all of their ideas together.
We took a picture of the chart and e-mailed it to the classroom teacher. We wrote up a short summary of the lesson for her and asked her to forward the chart and summary to all of her students' parents. With spring break coming up and lots of free time on their hands, we told parents this would be a great opportunity to talk about some of the things they could creatively think of doing when they are bored. We folded up the chart and put it as well as a potato in a bag and sent home with one lucky student.
One of our kiddos came to school the next day with a potato mummy he created at home with his family. We were so proud that he went home and shared what he had learned in our lesson! We took him to the principal and assistant principal and bragged on him for going the extra mile and trying something we learned in class at home.
There is a fun video on Vimeo that you can also show your kids that goes along with the story.
The illustrator, Debbie Ridpath Ohi also has a website with tons of information about creating the book.
My reader's theater came from the Judy Freeman conference I attended recently. You could also easily type up your own using the book. Here are all the materials we used for this lesson minus the potatoes.