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Teacher's Lesson Plan for the 2008 edition of
The Blue Rose by Gerda Weissmann Klein

                                              A "YOU" ROSE
                                     Lesson plan for The Blue Rose
                                        Gerda Weissmann Klein
                                              2008 edition

(With slight variations, can be used for all grades):

•    Students will embrace Jenny’s unique differences
•    Students will embrace their own unique differences
•    Students will illustrate their unique selves through art

Time and Materials:

•    One or two class periods
•    Various art materials for creating “YOU” roses

The Blue Rose:

After sharing Jenny’s story in
The Blue Rose, lead students in a discussion of what makes Jenny such a unique individual.  Lead questions can be:

•    “After hearing Jenny’s story, what do you remember about her most?  Why?”
•    “What are some words that describe Jenny?”
•    “What is her disposition, or attitude, toward people and the world around her?”
•    “What are some character traits that Jenny has that you admire and want in your own life?  Why?
•    “What are some unique things about Jenny that make her different from others?”

Answers will vary according to the age group, but students’ responses might include the following: 

•    Jenny was born on the 4th of July;
•    her birthday is always a national holiday;
•    she has both brown hair and brown eyes;
•    she cried more than most babies;
•    Jenny worries;
•    she sees things with different eyes;
•    she has an awkward dance;
•    Jenny will blossom in her own time.

Identifying With
The Blue Rose

•    After hearing and discussing Jenny’s unique qualities, talk to students about how each of us is unique.  Have students list at least 5 things about themselves that they feel make them special.
•    Invite students to ask their parents or guardians about what they were like as little babies too. 
•    Did they have a special dance as a little child? 
•    Or did they get called names when they were younger too, like Jenny? 
•    Tell students that, like Jenny, we’re all special and rare roses.

Making The "You" Rose

Remind students that Jenny is like a rare blue rose.  They, too, are rare roses. 
This art project allows students to create a unique rose that represents them.
It helps students focus if they can see a model of this art project,
so the teacher can make his or her own rose first. 

There are so many different ways to do this art project:

•    Use crayons and paper and have students draw their own rose, coloring it with their favorite colors.  They could be rainbow roses, polka-dot roses or any combination the student likes.
•    The teacher could make lots of old magazines available and students could cut out pictures and their "You" Rose could be a collage of images they feel describe something about themselves.
•    Students could bring in old photographs (or copies of them) and make the petals of their rose
•    out of the photographs.  The rose could even be 3 dimensional this way.

Writing A Name Poem

To add a simple writing activity with this art project, have students write a common name poem that is placed with their art picture.  The teacher could write as a model one with students about Jenny.

        J - Joyful
        E - Endearing
        N - Nice
        N - Neat
        Y – Young


Written by Jeff  Sapp and Kate Esposito
Teacher Education Department
California State University, Dominguez Hills


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