Aim to understand that families want to be together, because they love each other

Aims
*To understand that families want to be together, because they love each other
*To learn that children should always tell their parents where they are going


Materials
* Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig
* memory cards
* picture from the story to colour in
* coloured pencils
* pebbles, paint, brushes
* Board game, counters, dice


Lesson Outline
1. Introduction
2. Sylvester and the Magic Pebble
3. Discussion
4. Activities – colour a picture, paint pebbles, memory game, board game
5. Review aims of lesson
6. Prayer


1) Introduction
* Talk to the children about the different relationships in the family; parent/child, brother/sister, husband/wife. Today’s story is about a donkey family: a father, mother and son. It is also about someone who makes wishes. What are some of the things that you wish for? And it is about collecting pebbles. Do you collect pebbles or stones? What are some things that you collect?


2) Sylvester and the Magic Pebble
The language can be simplified, because there are some quite difficult words.  Sylvester Duncan, the donkey, lives with his parents on Acorn Road in Oatsdale. One of Sylvester’s hobbies is  ollecting pebbles of unusual shapes and colors. One rainy day Sylvester finds a red pebble that will grant him wishes. On his way home to show the pebble to his parents a lion frightens him at Strawberry Hill. To save himself he wishes he were a stone. His problem is he cannot wish himself back because the red pebble is not touching him because he is a rock with no hands.

A year passes and his family think that they will never find their darling child, until one day on a picnic at Strawberry Hill. His parents eat on the very stone, which is Sylvester. His dad picks up the red pebble and wishes his son was with them. The dad puts the red pebble on the stone and Sylvester wishes that they are back together and at that moment he is a donkey again. Once Sylvester’s parents find him, they do not even want to use the magic pebble anymore, because they want nothing more than their son.


3) Discussion
During the reading:
* What happened to Sylvester when he wished for the rain to stop? (it stopped immediately)
* When Sylvester headed home with his magic pebble, how did he feel? (excited)
* Do you think Sylvester’s wish to be a rock was a good wish?
* How do you think Sylvester is feeling now?
* Is there anything else Mr. and Mrs. Duncan can do to find Sylvester? (pray)
* How did Sylvester’s wish come true? (he became normal again)

After the story:
* What lesson do you think Sylvester learned? (be careful what you wish for)
* Why couldn’t he turn back into a donkey? (he wasn’t holding the magic pebble)
* Why couldn’t Sylvester tell his parents where he was? (He didn’t have a mouth)
* Do you always tell your parents where you are going?
* Do they worry if they don’t know where you are?
* Have you ever lost your parents? Did you feel scared? How did you feel when you were together again?
* What was the most important thing for Sylvester’s parents at the end of the story. (Sylvester and to be together). 
* What is the most important thing in your family (to have each other and be together)
* Who are the most important people in your family? (everyone)

* Discuss with children the kinds of things they enjoy doing with their family – parents, brothers  and sisters, grandparents. (swimming, cooking, playing games, picnics, shopping, watching movies, visiting museums, making crafts, reading a bedtime book, walking in a forest, eating out)


4) Activities
* Colour the picture of the donkey family
* paint pebbles to take home or give each child a red spray-painted pebble to take home
* play the memory game
* Play the board game

Rules – Each player rolls a dice and moves their counter forward. When they land on a black square they miss a turn. When they land on a red square they get an extra turn because their journey is speeded up. The first player to reach the finish is the winner.


5) Review the lesson aims
*To understand that families want to be together, because they love each other
*To learn that children should always tell their parents where they are going


6) Prayer
* Say a prayer to thank God for their loving family and that they can be together AND that the children remember always tell their parents where they are going

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