Monday, September 14, 2020

Lucy's Mask

The school year has started and things are looking different than they had in the past.  One of the most obvious changes is that teachers and students must wear facemasks when they are in close proximity to other people.  In some school districts, they are required to wear them at all times besides lunch and break.  By now, most people are used to wearing facemasks.  They may not always want to wear masks, but they do so because they know it's the right thing to do.  

There will be days when students... and teachers... will feel frustrated by having to wear masks for so long.  They may take off their masks and not want to put them back on.  It's normal for them to have those feelings, but not OK to act on them.  If this happens and tensions start to rise because of it, sometimes taking a break and reading a story can help.  Lucy's Mask (affiliate link to Amazon) by Lisa Sirkis Thompson is a fun, lighthearted story that reminds children why it's important to wear their facemasks and even lets them know they can be superheroes when they wear them!  How fun is that?

Lucy's Mask by Lisa Sirkis Thompson

From Amazon

Suddenly, masks are everywhere. Are your kids confused and anxious about wearing a mask? Lucy’s world turned upside down. She’s bored. She can’t be together with her friends. But when she finds out her mom is making her a new mask her boredom turns into excitement. Lucy loves masks! She dives into her toy box full of costumes and opens a world of imagination and make-believe adventure, far beyond the walls of her room. Of course, she doesn’t realize that the mask her mom is making is not a costume at all but one that will keep her safe and make her a real-life superhero. For parents, grandparents, and teachers searching for stories that give kids comfort and reassurance about the sudden changes around them, Lucy’s Mask is a welcome new addition to reading time. This book is not a science lesson. It’s a simple fun story that helps kids make sense of their emotions and makes this new reality more relatable and less scary. It is a wonderful tool to continue the conversation about germs, viruses, the pandemic, and what families have to do to keep themselves safe. A portion of proceeds from sales of Lucy’s Mask will be donated to frontline workers and first responders.

Lucy's Mask by Lisa Sirkis Thompson

Lesson Plan Idea

Step One

After reading and discussing Lucy's Mask with your students, pass out some paper plates and crayons.  Have your students create a self-portrait.  Encourage them to use lots of colors and to add as many details as possible. Instead of crayons, your students can use a variety of materials to create their self-portraits.  Have fun and be creative!
Self Portrait Lucy's Mask

Step Two

After the students finish creating their self-portraits, review why it is so important to wear our facemasks.  Also, review the correct way to wear them (over our mouths and noses).  If available, pass out the cheap, disposable masks to your students.  Make sure your students cover the mouths and noses on their self-portraits.  Help them fasten the masks with glue, staples, or tape.

***Note: Do NOT use the high-quality masks needed by our doctors, nurses, etc.  If masks aren't available, you can make mock facemasks from tissue paper.  In my area, there is a vendor who sells cheap masks that are so poorly made that you can practically see through them.  Those are the types of masks you could use... not the good ones!
Self Portrait Lucy's Mask

Step Three

Extend your students' learning through a written assignment.  They can write about the story, their reactions, and the connections they made.  They can write an opinion piece or a persuasive essay.  They could even write a story of their own.  Again, have fun and be creative!
Self Portrait Lucy's Mask

After your students are finished with their self-portraits and writing assignments, take some time to watch this read-aloud of Lucy's Mask.  This video was made by TopShelfKids.  Enjoy!


Have you read Lucy's Mask with your students?  What kind of conversations have you had with them?  What are some fun follow up activities you've tried?  Tell us about them in the comments below!

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