Get ready to discuss, share, play, create, and read your way to developing and empowering a strong character.
You had lived most of your life in a cage. Imagine your surprise to be set free. What would life be like now with your new found freedom?
Story Focus, Virtues, and Life Lessons
A life-long pet is set free and learns to live a very different life in the wild at Breakers Island.
Wisdom and espect
Luna said, “Our time together has come to an end. Come tomorrow and I will tell you more stories about the clever fox, the cunning wolf, and the eagles with sharp talons flying overhead.” She watched the kits leave and thought, “With a little luck, my stories will help to keep them safe so they can live to be as old as I am.”
Wisdom is the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment. Respectfully listening to inter-generational storytelling provides us with wisdom from our elders and lessons they learned.
Interactive Discussion and Activities
Reading Story Techniques
First, pre-read the story before reading it aloud with your learner. Use expressive language, gestures, motions, and sounds to make the story come alive:
- Change the sound of your voice for each rabbit speaking.
- Make your voice sound scared and shake your body when Luna tells of being in his cage.
- Open your eyes wide to imitate the young kits listening to Luna’s story.
- Shake your head when Luna speaks of being given away.
- Look surprised when Luna’s cage was opened to let him go free in Secret Spring Meadow.
- Smile when Luna meets up with other rabbits in the meadow.
- Have your learner jump up and down imitating the kits’ excitement.
- Imitate the lessons Luna had to learn with his new freedom (hop in a zigzag motion, kick with your hind legs, etc.).
- End the story with a calm and soft tone of voice to sound like a concerned, wise, old rabbit.
Interject these questions to involve the learner:
- When was Luna born?
- Who picked up Luna at the dock?
- Why did Luna live in a cage?
- Where was Luna set free?
- What did Luna want for the kits?
Use the answers to these questions to recall points in the story.
- Where did Luna see the free rabbits?
One morning the old man brought me to the Secret Spring Meadow.
- Who gave Luna her name? Why?
Then a kind man came to pick me up. He called me Luna because he thought I looked like the rabbit that lives on the moon and makes rice cakes.
- Why was Luna a legend?
Luna was the oldest rabbit in the warren.
- When was story time?
A light snow was falling in Fire Fall Woods as the sun set. There was just enough time for the kits to hear a story before bedtime.
- What did Luna fear when her owner wanted to give her away?
I was afraid I would be sold to someone who wanted to cook a rabbit stew or make a fur hat for winter.
- Note: Close with a discussion on why it was important to listen to the wisdom of parents. “Come tomorrow and I will tell you more stories about the clever fox, the cunning wolf, and the eagles with sharp talons flying overhead.”
Behavior/Social Development (All Ages):
Discuss the meaning and essence of respect with the following points:
- Respect is an attitude. It is how one responds verbally and non-verbally to others.
- Respect is the attitude of admiration and feelings of high-regard towards others, oneself, and one’s possessions.
- Respect is giving someone your time and attention, showing that you value them.
- Respect is being a good listener, removing distractions, making eye contact, and not interrupting.
- A respectful person takes care of belongings, gets along with peers, parents, and authority figures.
- Repeat each point one at a time and expand the conversation by giving examples or creating scenarios that demonstrate the point. End each discussion by asking your learner, “Was that respect?”
Language Development (Younger Learners):
- Antonyms: come–leave, day–night, inside–outside, old–young, sun–
moon, summer–winter, up–down
- Identify word patterns: Long I Sounds “– ind”
Bolded words, among the following, are those used in Freedom — bind, find, hind, kind, mind, rind, wind, blind, grind
- Colors: brown and yellow
- Identify and explain words that may not be familiar to your learner, such as “warren,” “burrows,” “huddled, “ “hutch,” “zigzag,” “hind,” “cunning,” “clever,” and “talons.”
- Introduce the word “respect” and discuss its meaning. Ask your learner who they respect and the reason why they respect the persons they named.
Language Development (Older Learners):
- Have your learner list all the people whom they respect and the reason why they respect them. Extend the discussion by asking if they respect other individuals, such as teachers, police, politicians, actors, preachers, etc. Then ask your learner if they respect the person or the position? Extend the discussion by identifying the importance of being respectful of the position and the person in it, regardless of whether they like the person or not.
- Discuss with your learner if “like” and “respect” necessarily go together. Discuss whether there are people they like, but do not respect and vice versa. Extend the discussion by asking if they would rather be liked or respected.
- Ask your learner if they agree with the following statement: “Respect cannot be demanded; it must be earned.” Discuss reasons for their response.
- Discuss the meaning of self-respect. Self-respect resides deep within a person’s soul and is felt by always trying to do the right thing. Ask your learner if he/she knows in their heart that they are a good, moral, kind person?
Discover the values covered in this story through guided activities and fun projects that ensure learner involvement.
Arts and Crafts ideas for Creatively Understanding the Virtues
Arts & Crafts Activities (Younger Learners):
Create “I Love You to Pieces” Puzzles
- Take a photograph of your learner and enlarge it to 8″ x 10″ or larger.
- Cut poster board cut to the same size as photo.
- Glue the photo of your learner on the poster board and cover with the clear contact paper.
- Cut the photo into puzzle pieces. You can make the puzzle simple with fewer pieces, or more complex with more pieces.
- Give your learner the new, personalized puzzle to complete.
- Store the puzzle pieces in a special box decorated by your learner. Title the box, “I Love You to Pieces.” Create several of the same puzzle and give them as gifts to family members.
Arts & Crafts Activities (Older Learners):
- Create a personal time line of growth and accomplishments your learner has made. For example, start with the birth date and move to famous firsts: first walked, first time at school, first time riding a bike, first time swimming, first dance, first kiss, etc.
Involvement Tips (All Ages):
- Younger Learners
Give your learner freedom to make their own choices (as appropriate for their age) so that they feel they have some control over their lives.
- Older Learners
Discuss and teach your learner to consider the source — whose opinion to listen to and put faith in, e.g. family members vs. commercials.
One morning the old man brought me to the Secret Spring Meadow. I was so surprised when the door to my cage opened. I ran into the tall grass and never looked back. That is when my second life began as a free rabbit.”
Continue with learning experiences to extend your stay.
Follow-up Activities (All Ages):
- Watch and discuss favorite TV shows. Identify some of the characters in the show and the behaviors each displays as respectful or disrespectful. Discuss and justify the reasons why it was respectful or not.
- Read other books that have lessons regarding respect.
- Have your learner choose a favorite song. Look at the lyrics and discuss whether respect or disrespect is evident.
Real-Life Activities (All Ages):
- Model the following manners and have your learner practice basic
- Say “please,” “thank you,” and “excuse me” at appropriate times.
- Ask permission before doing things.
- Do not interrupt adults when they are speaking.
- Compliment others.
- Do not call others names, tease others, use fowl language.
- Knock on closed doors before entering.
- Cover mouth and face when coughing and sneezing.
- Show appreciation for gifts and acts of kindness.
- Hold the door open for others.
- Follow through on favors asked of you.
- Offer your help, when appropriate.
- Use table manners.
- Show older citizens (grandparents and older relatives) respect by spending time with and listening to them. A lot can be learned from seniors.
- Look for and act on acts of kindness that help others.
That is when my second life began as a free rabbit.