Amelia smiles while splashing in the puddles, making the most of a downpour. It takes only one big smile from this little girl to start a chain reaction from people around the world. Stein’s story takes the reader from New York to Mexico, England, Israel, Paris, Italy and back to New York and Amelia once again.
As a result of a smile observed by a neighbour through the window, this small dose of happiness spurs others to spread kindness and joy to lives of others. This story shows the power we have to change someone’s mood, which in turn affects their actions and the lives of others around us by doing something as simple as smiling.
Hold up the book, read the title and ask the students:
What do you think this book is about?
Do you think one person can say or do something that could make a difference in the life of another person?
What are some examples of how or when this might happen?
How do you feel inside when someone does something kind or says something nice?
Do you act differently when you feel positive or good inside?
As you read the story, highlight how happiness can motivate others and provide reminders about how feeling good inside can make one behave in a positive manner towards others.
Elicit from students how we feel inside often determines how we think, what we say, and what we do. This can be either positive or negative.
When we feel good inside, we tend to have a positive impact on others. In turn, a positive impact on someone will cause that person to have a positive impact on someone else.
Emphasize that there are many ways to make a positive impact: body language, what we say and how we say it, as well as how we behave or act.
One day I visited a school and the teacher and children were very kind and giving to me. They included me in their story time and then we did a craft together. All the children and the teacher thanked me for coming and gave me lots of smiles and a high five when I left.
How do you feel after doing a kind act for or to someone?
How do you feel after seeing someone smiling?
Why is it important to give?
Can you think of something that someone has done for you and made you feel good inside?