When I read the current events of our world, I often feel overwhelmed by the challenges facing us as a global community. As an early childhood educator, I wonder, “what if our world leaders were required to return to kindergarten and learn the empathy basics, like The Golden Rule?” I don’t mean to simplify politics and struggles that run deep in history, but what if… Today I celebrate a timeless world classic about one simple rule.
Regional focus: The Whole Wide World
Author: Ilene Cooper
Illustrator: Gabi Swiatkowska
Genre: Children’s literature
This book is a gentle reminder of a timeless rule for parent and child, Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Everyone knows a version of the Golden Rule. But what does it really mean? And how do you follow it? In this simple yet profound book, a grandfather explains to his grandson that the Golden Rule means you “treat people the way you would like to be treated. It’s golden because it’s so valuable, and a way of living your life that’s so simple, it shines.” Though it may be a simple rule, it isn’t easy to follow. Fortunately, following the Golden Rule is something everyone can do, which means that every person-old or young, rich or poor-can be a part of making the world a better place.
What I love:
- The book has gorgeous and intriguing illustrations.
- The book uses child appropriate language and stories to explore a challenging theme.
- The story is a useful teaching tool for teachers with diverse student groups.
- The Golden Rule can be used as a powerful introduction to exploring delicate current world events.
Themes: values, world culture, compassion, empathy
- In your own words, describe the golden rule.
- Have you recently practiced the golden rule? When? Why?
- Have you recently seen an adult practicing the golden role? Who? When? Why?
- Make a collage using recycled newspapers and magazines of people practicing the golden rule.
- Ask adult friends to share world stories from history of people practicing the golden rule.
- Create a play/theater of characters practicing the golden rule.