A Ball for All helps students understand the concepts of both respect and responsibility while also teaching the importance of kindness. Max Mouse and his friends are enjoying a fun day in the meadow when suddenly Rico Raccoon steals their ball and runs away.
Max and his friends struggle with what they should do next. Should they march over to Rico’s burrow and grab it from him? Or should they get a bigger, stronger animal friend to help? Rico’s mother has a good idea to solve this problem. This is an endearing story about how a little kindness can make a big difference.
Characters in the Story
Have a discussion about how joining in with peers is a very important skill that we need to learn in order to get along with others (E.g. at recess and lunch time).
When someone tries to be a part of a group in the wrong way, it can cause others in the group to become upset.
It is important that we are able to look at the situation and figure out if it is a good time to join in and if the group will be positive in their response.
Point out the three characters that have disabilities. Note that, despite their disabilities, these animals are always included. (Max Mouse has a short leg, Molly Mole has poor eyesight, and Freddy Frog has poor hearing). It is important to respect those with disabilities the same way you respect those without disabilities.
Discuss how past behaviour can predict future behaviour. At the beginning of the story, remind the students what the characters’ thoughts/attitudes were about Rico. (“He’s up to something”; “he’s never nice”; “just ignore him”; “forget about him.”). Why do you suppose the characters felt this way about Rico? (Rico had a history of not joining in appropriately so the characters started excluding him.)
Discuss how the pattern of behaviour can be identified. (The ball was kicked and Rico was lightning fast. “He jumped, caught the ball and ran away”). Confirm with the students that this was an inappropriate way for Rico to communicate to the others that he wanted to join in.
Fin’s Tales – Can You Help?
When I first joined my hockey team I was worried that the other players wouldn’t include me. I was the new player and I didn’t have any friends on the team. I thought carefully about it and then went ahead and introduced myself to the group so they would include me in their hockey drills. What do you think I did?
Say “Hi, my name is Fin! That looks like fun, can I please play with you?”
Or Did I…
Not say anything at all. Instead, I went up and stole the puck away from the other players when they weren’t looking.