vnopsis Shapesville by Andy Mills and Becky Osborn
Shapesville is a small town where five friends of various shapes,
sizes, colors, and talents honour What makes each of them
unique. It gets to the heart of teaching children that is okay
to be different and to celebrate those differences.
Body Image Expectations
Students will begin to:
' understand that there are a range of “normal” bodies;
' consider that physical characteristics do not tell about
the whole person;
' avoid making assumptions about what a person can do based on their appearance or
' understand that they can explore their own abilities, interests and be what they want to be.
- express clear responses to written materials, relating the ideas in them to their own knowledge
I communicate ideas — thoughts, feelings, experiences for specific purpose;
' listen and react to stories and recount personal experiences; and
ii listen to and comment positively on the contributions of others in group and class discussions.
- describe and name two-dimensional shapes (e.g., circle, square, rectangle, triangle).
/ Cut out shapes - orange triangles, blue squares, red rectangles, orange diamonds, yellow
circles - the number of shapes is determined by the number of participants. Ten of each
provides 50, which should be enough for a class. It is important to have more than the exact
number in the class to provide choice.
Reﬂections of Me... 53% The ETFO Body Image FrOjw-‘l
\/ One copy of the book, Shapesville by Andy Mills and Becky Osborn — if the teacher is
using it as a whole class read aloud. Several copies will be required if students are going
to work in groups and read it in their group - one per group. This choice Will depend on
the independent reading level of the students - in Grade 1 you may have several students
who could read and then it could be done in groups. Otherwise, it is a read aloud activity
done by the teacher.
»/ chart paper
v“ Character Chart BLMBA
1. In this lesson students Will use the messages from the story to understand positive body
image and diversity. They will be involved in a variety of groupings to explore the theme
of honouring our differences. By discussing, listening. reading, writing and using a
cross-classification chart, students will begin to understand body-based acceptance.
2. Introduce the shapes. Provide cut out shapes - orange triangles, blue squares, red
rectangles, orange diamonds, and yellow circles. Ask the students to choose a shape they
like. Review/teach the mathematical terms for the shapes if your students are not familiar
with them. Mention they will be asked to indicate why they chose the shape.
3. Reorganize the class into groups according to their chosen shapes. Have them talk to each
other about Why they chose their shape. Before they start to talk to each other review the
rules for group work - take turns, one person speaks at a time, everyone listens, and no
put downs. While they are talking observe their interactions.
4. Debrief with the class. Some sample questions:
Did you choose the shape/colour for the same reason?
Different reasons? What were your reasons?
Did you learn anything different from each other by doing this activity?
Was your group able to follow the rules for conversation in a group?
5. Introduce the story Shapesville. Review the previous activity where the students chose shapes
they liked and that they had different reasons for their choice. Explain that having their
unique reasons and opinions is good. In this book you will meet some characters that are the
shapes we discussed earlier. Each of them is unique/special. Tell the class “I would like you to
listen to the story. As I read it, think about this chart.” Prior to reading, the chart should be
blank. Read the story to the class. Stop at page 9 (where Daisy is reading the books.)
CHARACTER NAME COLOUR SHAPE KIND OF STAR DESCRlPTlON SPECIAL TALENT
Robbie red rectangle artistic tall and one eye friendly
Reﬂections of Me... 34-” The E'I'FO Body Image Project
6. Reﬂect on the first part of the story. Either as a whole class or in groups, students will
complete the chart using pictures, words, or phrases. A student line master BLM3A -
Celebrating Shapes: Character Chart is provided if you want students to have their own
copy of the chart. To begin, model one example with the whole class on a piece of large
chart paper. An example: Robbie — red rectangle - artistic star — tall and one eye - friendly
to all is shown in the Character Chart on the previous page.
7. Reread the book. Debrief the chart using each of the other characters. You may want
students to do their own chart after your modeling. Some students will not be able to do
that independently and will need support.
8. Read the last part of the book. The first two lines on every page of this book say “In
Shapesville it doesn’t matter What size, shape or colour you are. . .” Discuss with the class
what they think that means. It is important to promote a common understanding so that
students will accept diverse bodies. The next few pages explain how the character shapes
give ideas to everyone about how happy and healthy your shape can be.
9. Read aloud the rest of the story and ask students to find out what the shapes say is
important. Debrief with the class the ideas presented:
- try all the food groups
' take care of your body, love it
'- have fun
' bike, swim, or run - find an exercise that’s just right for you
° What matters most is not body shapes that are on TV or in magazines/ads
' it is not your size or shape that matters but what’s in your heart.
10. Reflect on the message about body image. Use the discussion questions on the third last
page of the book to reinforce the message of acceptance. Teasing, qualities of a friend,
what makes you a star, etc., are addressed.
11. Provide cut out large hearts/stars or have students draw
and cut out large hearts/stars. Have them use pictures,
words, phrases and sentences to show what they are
proud of and what makes them unique. Have the students
write or dictate a sentence (depending on their stage of
writing) in their journal. Have them explain the lines from
the story... “It’s not the size of your shape or the shape of
your size, but what’s in your heart that deserves first prize.”
Depending on what has been assessed and what will be assessed in the future the teacher
will determine the frequency and type of assessment to be used.
Reﬂections of Me... 35%” The ETFO Body Image Project
Some assessment suggestions are provided:
- A simple observation checklist or at-a-glance organizer using the class list can be used for the
initial group activity where the students were asked to follow the class rules for working in a
group. Use criteria such as: I listened to instructions, I respected my group members by giving
everyone a turn, I didn’t use put-downs.
- The character chart that summarized the story could also be assessed according to student
contribution and understanding.
' The final pieces of student work — hearts/stars and journal entry could be assessed according
to the body acceptance message and the student’s ability to meet the appropriate expectations
listed for the lesson.
Some students will be able to do the character chart independently while others will need to use
picture symbols to represent their information about the character shapes.
Recommend this book for parents to use with their children. Either send it home as part of
a home book bag program or mention the title in any of your home and school communication.
There is a note to educators, parents, and others at the back of the book that parents would
Have students take home their heart/star to share with their parents. Ask parents to write or
draw a picture on the back of a unique quality that they see in their children. Ask the students
to bring them back to school. Discuss and display.
Taking The Lesson Further
Have the students work in pairs to create unique characters from a variety of shapes and
colours. Have them consider the categories in the chart to determine the characteristics of
the character they create.
Make a class big book with characters created by the students. Use the refrain from the story to
introduce the characters in the book. Place in the classroom library for home and school reading.
Find or create music for the characters presented in the story — Shaprsville. Encourage students
to sing or play the songs for the rest of the class.
Check the school and public library for other books written about shapes. Peruse math
resources for other exciting learning experiences related to shapes and connected to the grade
one curriculum expectations.
Reﬂections of Me... The ETFO Body Image Project
S PEC lAL
TA LEN T
The ETFO Body Image Project
Reﬂections of Me..
BLM 3A Celebrating Shapes