Lesson Plans for
The Magical Love Box
Activating Background Knowledge
Grades K – 6
The purpose of this lesson is to activate the background knowledge of the students.
The best timing for this lesson is just before reading The Magical Love Box. If your students have a shorter attention span, feel free to put a more active activity between the pre-reading activity and the reading of the book. You know your students best.
Chart paper and markers for chart
Bring students together for a 15 minute think-time using the strategy Think-Pair-Share.
- Think – Ask your students to close their eyes and think about times in their lives when they have felt love and happiness. 30-45 seconds
If you think that the students will have trouble with this idea, share examples from your life. If this is a new strategy for the students, they will need examples.
Possible teacher examples – When someone makes breakfast for me, when my neighbor smiles, when my daughter/son tells me what a great mom/dad I am, when my dog meets me at the door. You get the idea.
- Pair – Students turn to a partner and share their ideas. about 1 minute. If the pairs have many ideas to share, extend the time. Have students alternate sharing ideas.
- Share – Collect the student’s ideas on chart paper to be used in the post-lesson.
Ask students to draw or write their ideas on an “idea-sheets” to be used in post-lesson.
Teacher Tip: A fun idea when sharing the ideas is to ask them to share an idea that they heard from their partner. This begins to teach more active listening. The more you use Think-Pair-Share with our students, the better they get at thinking and sharing.
Here’s a quick description of Think-Pair-Share from Classroom Strategies for Dynamic Teachers, p. 3.
This quick and easy strategy can be used in countless situations. It helps activate background knowledge and gets students actively engaged in learning. Make it a regular part of how you teach. You’ll find reminders to use Think-Pair-Share throughout this book. As the name suggests, there are three parts. Let’s take a look at them.
Ask students to think silently for a moment about the topic. You can ask the students to jot down a couple of their ideas.
Tell students to turn to the person next to them and talk about the topic. This helps guarantee that all students have something to share.
The teacher conducts a discussion and calls on as many students as time allows to share their ideas.
That’s it. Simple, isn’t it? But just think of how you can engage even the quietest student!
(If you own a copy of The Magical Love Box, you can get a free electronic copy of Classroom Strategies for Dynamic Teachers. Just email Mary- firstname.lastname@example.org)
During Reading Activity
As you read The Magical Love Box, use your amazing teaching skills to pause, question and engage your kids. There are questions in the back of the book that might be useful. It is also just fine to read the book straight through. Again, you are the best to know how to handle this. You know your kids the best.
Post Reading Activity
45 – 60 minutes (could be done in 2 days)
Now, it’s time for the students to create their own magical love box. Students will design the outside of their box and fill their box with their ideas.
Magical Love Box template (at end of this document) print on heavy paper
Crayons and markers to decorate their Magical Love box
Tape or glue
Attention: This lesson involves lots of cutting and taping or gluing, so the more hands-on-deck the better. For the very young ones, a one-on-one experience building the box is recommended. Once the boxes are decorated, perhaps an aide or parent volunteer can create a station to meet with each student to guide the folding and constructing of the box.
Steps to creating individual Magical Love Box
First, the teacher models the decoration of the box. It is important to actually show the students. You will do it first and then they will start their boxes. Have a completed Magical Love Box for the students to see. (5 minutes)
The teacher will cut out the template on SOLID lines.
Depending on the age of the students, you may want to have templates precut and the top section of the box marked with a small x.
Begin showing the students how to decorate the outside of the boxes by starting to decorate your magical love box “thinking out loud” as you go. Thinking aloud might sound like,
“Ok, how do I want the outside of my box to look. My favorite colors are green and blue, so I’ll for sure use those colors. Hmm, What shapes will I draw? Perhaps..”
You get the idea. Let the kids know what thinking is involved. You will be drawing on the side of the template without the dotted lines. (this is so the dotted lines are on the inside of the box)
Show students which section of the box is the top of the box. They may want something special on the top. Again, have a folded box to show students what it will look like once constructed.
- Pass out the templates and have them cut out the template on the solid lines (could be pre-cut) and decorate the outside of their box. Help students to understand which section is the top of the box. (15 minutes)
- Bring students to the chart paper with their ideas created in the pre-visit lesson. Review the ideas and ask students if they have thought of any more ideas. Add them to the chart. (5-10 minutes)
- Model for the students. Take your box and turn it over to the side with the dotted lines and draw 1 or 2 of your ideas in the box. Again think aloud. “Hmm, I think I am going to put a dog in my box because my dog makes me very happy. I am also going to put flowers in my box because my friend brings me flowers and I feel loved when I get them…) (5 minutes)
- Pass out the student’s individual “idea-sheets” and ask them to return to their seats, review their idea-sheets and then draw or write their ideas on the inside of their box. They do not need to use all of the ideas on the “ideas-sheet.” (10 -15 minutes)
- Take the class through a step-by-step folding and taping of the box. Again, for the younger ones, do this one-on-one. (15-20 minutes) (This step could be done at a different time)
Other Follow up Activities
Set up a listening station for The Magical Love Box. A recording of Mary reading the book is available at https://maryreinhartbooks.com/book-excerpt/ near the bottom of the Excerpt page. She even added a bell so the students know when to turn the page.
Ask students to write their own stories about kindness and love.
What’s the setting? Who are the characters? What are the events? How does the story end? Have them create a storyboard.
Reread The Magical Love Box and use the questions at the end of the book to have a book discussion.