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I Am Love: Favorite Activities to Promote Compassion

Just as all Peter Reynold and Susan Verde’s collaboration books are, this “I am Love” is really a special one.  It celebrates kindness, compassion, self-love, and love in all its forms.  Love means so many things and this book is an amazing read-aloud to show students that love is kindness, gratitude, and taking care of our own minds and bodies too.  This book is rooted in mindfulness and wellness and is a true gem to discuss with your impressionable readers.

The book asks readers to look inside themselves when they feel afraid, angry, hurt, or sad. The story begins with a rainstorm, symbolic of an emotional storm, and the main character in the book considers how to bring light to the storm.  It teaches compassion, kindness, gratitude, and self-love and shows children how to face challenges.  This book is empowering for readers of any age, as I am sure you will love it as much as your students do, but it is especially powerful for young readers.  It allows us to open a dialogue with kids about the tools that we have and strategies that we can use to face challenges that come at us in life while also embracing the wonder and beauty of ourselves and the world around us.  Truly a beautiful book and one that you will love sharing with your kids.

Skills to teach with “I Am Love”:

  • Theme
  • Setting
  • Inferences
  • Predicting
  • Retelling
  • Author’s purpose

Important Discussions:

  • Each of us is worthy of love
  • We are each capable of adding light to the world around us
  • Taking care of ourselves is just as important as taking care of others

Here are 5 meaningful activities to accompany “I am Love.”

5 Favorite Activities for “I Am Love”:

1. Be the light

The story uses a storm as a symbol for emotional turmoil of hurt, unfairness, sadness, or anger.  These feelings can leave us feeling dark and alone in the storm, but when we see someone going through a storm, we can look inside out hearts to find ways to be the light to help weather their storm.  

Students can share things that they would say to someone that is going through a storm.  A friend or classmate may feel something was unfair or they may be feeling sadness.  When kids start thinking of things to say that can help and put those words to paper, they will begin to notice that there are so many ways that we can bring light to those that need it.

2. Being a good listener

Sometimes being the light for someone can simply mean to sit and listen without saying a word.  This is an important discussion to have with kids because when we tell them to “be a listener” or to “listen” they automatically may think of following directions.  But being a listener to a friend is much more than that.

Brainstorm and think of qualities of a good listener.  How can you show a friend that you are listening and why is listening an important part of being a friend?

3. Finding comfort

Someone that is feeling down might like to talk while you listen, they might like a hug, they might like to hear comforting words.  Students can think of things that are comforting to them when they are not feeling like themselves.  Thinking of comforting things allows them to realize strategies and things that they can do that may make them feel better during these times.

4. Taking care of yourself

While we can be the light for others and care for those around us that are weathering their own storms, we must not forget about ourselves too.  Keeping our mind and body-safe and healthy is important and can be different for everyone.  

Students can brainstorm ways that they take care of their mind and body.  You can share these ideas as a group, if students are comfortable sharing, and discuss the different ways that we can take care of ourselves.

5. Making Mistakes

It takes a lot of effort to admit when you are wrong but admitting that you made a mistake and working to make things better is a lesson that is important, although difficult, to learn.  Students can brainstorm things that they could say to someone when they are wrong.  This is another great discussion to share so students have a vault of ideas to use as real-life situations arise where they may need to admit fault.

The end of the book has yoga poses that encourage opening your heart.  All around, this book is truly a gem that will leave a lasting impression on you and your students.  There are so many great conversations to have and lessons to learn as you read through the beautiful pages.

I hope you and your students love it!

You can grab a free one-page guide for using this book in your classroom here:

You can find more of my favorite read-aloud books HERE.

And read more about why I think reading aloud is so important HERE.

You might like this blog post about self-love.

Check out all of my favorite read-aloud books and grab free guides for reading them aloud HERE.

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Happy Teaching!

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