February is a great month for spreading kindness in the classroom. Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch, written by Eileen Spinelli, is an amazing book for demonstrating the impact a little bit of kindness can have on others. Today I want to share some of the ways I use this book in the classroom.
After reading this story for the first time, I immediately fell in love.
One wintry day, a postman delivers a mysterious package with a big pink bow to a lonely man named Mr. Hatch.
“Somebody loves you,” the note says.
“Somebody loves me!” Mr. Hatch sings as he dusts his living room. “Somebody loves me!” Mr. Hatch whistles as he does his errands in town. “But who,” Mr. Hatch wonders, “could that somebody be?”
After some time, Mr. Hatch discovers just who his secret admirer is and, in doing so, enjoys the biggest surprise of his life!
If you don’t already own the book, you can find it on Amazon:
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If you don’t have a copy of this book in your classroom, you can have Hector Elizondo read the story aloud to your class using this video from Storyline Online.
I love to focus on how Mr. Hatch changes throughout the story. As we read, we use words to describe his character. We often refer to our Character Trait-ing cards to help us.
We use different colors of sticky notes for each part of the story to make it easier for us to see the changes in his character throughout the story.
After we have finished the story, we discuss how the words changed after different events in the story. Because the words are color-coded on sticky notes, it makes it easy for students to organize their thinking in their reading response journals.
One thing I love about this story is how it focuses on the impact of a simple act of kindness. We discuss how Mr. Hatch felt after receiving the mysterious valentine and how the neighbors felt each time Mr. Hatch helped them in their time of need. This is the perfect opportunity to discuss how to show kindness to others and why it is so important. Then I like to introduce the opportunity to recognize kind kids in our classroom.
Students can come to the station, grab a slip of paper, and write down an example of kindness they have seen in a fellow classmate. These can be read at any time during the day.
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If you’re looking to spend even more time with the text, you might be interested in this book companion.