By Phyllis Howard and Mariann Cigrand
First, read aloud The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush by Tomie dePaola. Then invite children to write and illustrate their own page for an adorable literature-based collaborative book.
Little Gopher’s belief in his Dream-Vision helped make his world a better place. But his goal was not realized immediately. As you read, talk with students about Little Gopher’s feelings. Ask students how they think he feels when the warriors go off without him and when he paints beautiful renditions of their stories and adventures. When Little Gopher’s Dream-Vision is realized, his people change his name to He-Who-Brought-the- Sunset-to-the-Earth. Ask students how they think he felt about that. After the story, review the range of feelings Little Gopher experienced while he worked toward fulfilling his Dream-Vision.
Writing & Art
Photocopy the student writing page onto tan paper. Explain that in the story, the Dream-Vision for Little Gopher explained how he would make the world a better place. Ask students to imagine a Dream-Vision for the world. Invite students to close their eyes and then evoke images of a better world. What is it that they see? Their Dream-Visions may be personal or family oriented. They may be visions of a better school, community, or world. Write on the board: “My Dream-Vision is ____________.” Have students complete the prompt by writing words that describe their visions. Remind students of Little Gopher’s perseverance. For an extra challenge, have children describe how they might help their Dream-Vision come true.