Week of October 7th

Lesson Plan for A Chair for My Mother

Purpose: to discuss values of family, community, and responsibility with the students, so that they may learn about the importance of being considerate towards one another.

Goal: After completing the lesson,

  • students will be more conscious of helping others in need.
  • students will understand the importance of individual responsibility in a community.


    Objectives: Students will be able to

  • define human resources, value of income, and savings
  • determine the importance of a savings goal
  • develop strategies to accomplish a goal
  • appreciate their family and neighbor


    Competency: Many competencies (effective communicator, collaborative team member, creative and practical problem solver, flexible & self-directed learner, globally aware and responsible student) will be enforced throughout the lesson and the long-term project.


    Teach: I will teach the students to learn about the values of family, community, responsibility, and caring through the story and learning activities. I will provide opportunities for students to practice these values through discussions, group project, and journal entry. I will guide the students in developing respect for one another amongst their peers while overseeing the group work. I will guide the students to make inferences by asking them inferential questions while reading the book.




    A Chair for My Mother






  • After reading aloud the story, I will follow up with comprehension questions.




    Example questions:


    1. Cover Picture: What kind of place is this? Look at this little girl?     Where is she? Look at this woman. What do you think their relationship is? What made you think so? What do you think her job is? What kind of restaurant does this look like? (Family restaurant) What made think so? (Family is eating inside the restaurant.) Describe the mood of this cover picture in one word? (happy, family, joyous…) What made you think so?

    1. What sort of work does the little girl do at the restaurant? (She peels onions, fills ketchup bottles, and washes salt and pepper shakers.) Do you think she likes the job? Why, or why not? What do you think about the work the girl does in the story? Would you do a similar work?Why or why not?
    2. What does the mother do for a living? Does your mom work too? What do you think about mom working? Do you like it or not? Please explain specifically.
    3. Why do you think the girl’s mom is happy some days, and some days not? (good and kind customers vs mean and thoughtless customers, lots of tips vs little tips, made mistakes at work…)
    4. Look at this picture. What kind of day do you think mom had today? (very tired…) What made you think so? And look at the little girl and grandma. What are they doing? (they are trying to put the coins into the jar)
    5. How does grandma save the money? (By getting a good bargain on shopping.)
    6. How does the little girl and grandma look like? (They look happy) Why do you think they are happy? (They are happy to save money for a goal together.)
    7. Wow, look at this picture. Isn’t it beautiful? I wonder why this picture of beautiful chair is suddenly shown? Can you guess? ( Oh, they want to buy that chair with that money???) We will see.
    8. What is the family saving for, and why? (a beautiful, soft armchair) What do you think the chair means for this family? What is the reason that made you think like that?
    9. 10.Look at this picture. Both mom and the girl look so…? (happy!) Yes, I guess they went for a shopping, and they both got what they wanted. They look happy.
    10. 11.Oh my, look at this picture. What is happening here? Yes, there was a fire. Whose house do you think is on fire? ( The girl’s house) Why? (They are running towards it, and they look so shocked.)

      Oh what change from this picture to this picture. They were so happy about five minutes ago in this picture, and here they are all upset in this picture. What a big change in five minutes?

    11. 12.Oh~, look at this picture. What are they looking at? How do they feel now? (sad, angry, hopeless, upset, disappointed, frustrated, maybe their heart is also as dark as this burnt house right now…)
    12. Compare three pictures of shopping (happy ), fire (shock) and burnt house (disappointment, hopeless) A big change suddenly happened to this family. Do we all experience big changes in our lives? It could be either good or bad. We will talk about the changes in our lives later.
    13. Where did they move? Yes, they stayed with mom’s sister, Aunt Ida and uncle Sandy’s house. What do you think they felt about it?

      (thankful because aunt was kind and sharing.)

    14. 15.Now they moved into a new apartment. What color did they paint

      the wall? (yes, yellow.) How would you like the wall painted with yellow? What do you feel from yellow color? (cheerful, bright, hope, happy,….) Yes, we can smell the happiness again even from the color of the wall they painted. But the house is still very empty because all their furniture is burned up.

    15. 16.Oh my, look at this picture. What is going on here. (They are

      Carrying something and going somewhere) Hmm~ I wonder where they are going with all those… Look at these people. They are carrying chairs and table, rug, cake, pots of stew, food, flowerpot, oh, pizza, rug, looks like a curtain, even a stuffed bear. Where do you think they are going with all these right now? (The girl’s house to share the things they have.) Let’s find out.

    16. 17.What are the neighbors doing? (Yes, they are sharing lots of necessary items with the girl’s family because they are in need. Amazing, amazing, amazing people. How kind and caring people

      they are! Have you ever done any kind action towards your friends, family, or neighbor? How did it make you feel?

    17. 18.Wow, look at this jar! It is completely filled with so many coins!Remember the first time they started saving coins in the jar? We wondered if they would really fill that huge jar with coins. But here it is with this completely filled jar! How do you feel about this jar filled with coins? ( happy, satisfied, excited, hope.. ) Why do you feel that way? (Because now they can achieve their goal whatever it was.)
    18. 19.So what was the purpose for saving all these coins in this huge jar? (Yes, to buy a beautiful chair) Now do you think they could buy a chair with these coins?
    19. 20.Hmm~, so how long did it take for the family to fill this jar with coins like this? (Yes, 1 year! ) What can you talk about this family? (consistent, caring, loving, hard working…)
    20. 21.Hmm~ Where do you think it is? What are they doing? Mom and grandma seemed to give something to the man behind the counter, and the girl is holding an empty jar. Hmm~ , where are they right now, and why did they come? Can anyone guess?
    21. Oh, they went to the bank to exchange the coins for ten-dollar bills. For what? Yes, they wanted to buy a chair with that money now. Why do you think they exchanged all the coins for ten-dollar bills? (to make shopping easier for themselves and the store owner) Do you think it was smart thing to do? Why?
    22. Where are they now? (Yes, in a furniture store.) How do they look? (They look so happy because???) What are they doing? (They are trying on different chairs to see ???) Does this picture remind you of any story?
    23. Now, which chair do you like among all these chairs?
    24. Now, look at this picture. How does everyone look like? (Yes, they all look so happy.) What made them so happy like this?
    25. Oh~, now look at the girl and mom. How do they look? (They look so happy, satisfied, peaceful… inside the beautiful chair) What made them so happy like this? Do you think they could be this much happy if they were rich and could buy the chair without any trouble and having to have saved? Why, or why not? (They were happier because they all were able to work together to save money to buy the chair.) Do you have any similar experiences? We will share it later.
    26. Oh~, look at this picture. Grandma, mom, and the girl, all sitting in the chair together smiling. What do think this chair mean to the family? ( hope, happiness, they can do it--- confidence, peace, security…)
    27. What did you learn from this story? What is the lesson that you learned? Please describe it in one sentence and explain the reason.
    28. 29.Extended Questions:
  • If someone gave you $10, what would you do with it and why?
  • What are some different tips for saving money?
  • What are your personal goals and some different ways you can achieve your personal goals?



    Class Activity


    Group Project: Make a class “Wish Jar” for the school or community. What are some goals? Why is it important to have goals? How are you going to accomplish your goals? What are some strategies to work towards a goal?


    Assessment: Cooperation Chart: I will provide a blank chart, such as the following, and ask students to fill out how each character in the book helped out the family.


    The little girl

    Added her earnings from the restaurant in the savings jar

    The mother

    Added tips from the restaurant in the savings jar

    The grandmother

    Added savings from grocery sales in the savings jar


    Brought pizza and ice cream after the fire

    Family across the street

    Gave a table and three kitchen chairs

    Old man next door

    Gave a bed which used to be his child’s bed

    Other grandpa

    Gave a beautiful rug

    Aunt Sally

    Gave curtains

    Josephine (Momma’s boss)

    Gave pots, pans, silverware, dishes

    Aunt Ida & Uncle Sandy

    Brought the red pickup truck to transport the couch




    Assessment: Journal Entry & Sharing

    Write an entry about a time when you have helped out a family member, friend, or neighbor.  How much of your time and energy have you given up in order to help someone else in need?


    Follow-Up Class Activity:

  • On the following day, I will have the students to share the “Cooperation Chart” and journal entry.
  • Journal for further reflection upon the lesson could be added depending on the students’ understanding:
  • I will write 6 words: family, community, change, money, responsibility, and caring on the board and briefly lead a discussion on how they relate together. I will lead the following activities;
    • Lead a discussion on the terms: family, community, change, responsibility, money, and caring
    • Lead the student to consider different ways to utilize money: spend it, save it, or donate it.Later, we will read the story to determine what the family in the book chooses to do with their money.
    • Lead a discussion on the importance of family and community, so that they may make responsible choices both inside and outside school.


      Visual Display:


      1. Savings Jar: I will explain that some people work towards a goal by keeping a physical reminder present. For example, one way the mother and child in the book could have worked towards their goal of saving money is to keep a picture of their goal (couch) by their savings jar to motivate them.


      2. Cooperation Chart: I will provide a blank chart and ask students to determine what each story character contributed in order to help the family.



      Teacher Read Aloud


A. How does the young girl demonstrate responsibility in A Chair for My Mother?

B. If your mother needed your help to achieve a goal, how     would you help out?

C. How might have things been harder if the neighbors hadn’t helped the family (donate food and furniture) after the fire?

D. Has anyone ever helped you out in your time of need? How did it make you feel?



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