Leon and the Spitting Image Extension Activities
Engage students with these three activities based on Leon and the Spitting Image from the Leon Zeisel series.
- Grades: 3–5
About this book
During the course of the school year, Leon has to cope with a difficult teacher and a class bully. In a group, discuss troubles you have had with people who have picked on you or others. What are some effective ways of dealing with bullies? How can you help other kids who are dealing with them?
Work as a class to make a list of the different ways bullies and other difficult people create problems. List items may include "name calling," "threats," and "physical violence." Then brainstorm positive steps that students can take against such intimidation, including "talk to a trusted adult," "speak up when someone else is being hurt," and "treat others as you wish to be treated." Collaborate to create a class charter that details acceptable and unacceptable behavior and how the students can work together to create a safe and healthy environment for all.
Can you create a spitting image of yourself? You can draw and paint it or make it a sculpture like Leon's. Don't forget to include all the important details--like panty hose and eyeballs!
Make class self-portraits with clay, markers, paint, crayons, pencils, and, of course, material, stuffing, and needle and thread. Add identifying details to make each creation unique. Display your masterpieces throughout the classroom or in the hall.
Learn the Seven Stitches of Virtue-boys and girls alike, just as in Miss Hagmeyer's class. You may want to invite in a teacher with some knowledge of sewing! Can you achieve five S.P.I.? Can you make a dinosaur or even a "masterpiece"?
Start by supplying students with a needle, thread, and a piece of scrap material to use to practice the stitches illustrated on page 44. Work toward a sewing project such as a snake, a simple dinosaur, or other "animile." Finally, have students use a ruler to measure their S.P.I. or stitches per inch.