Get ready to discuss, share, play, create, and read your way to developing and empowering a strong character.
For years you have heard about a wonderful place called, “Breakers Island.” You decide to visit to discover if any of the stories are true. What might be there waiting for you to discover?
Story Focus, Virtues, and Life Lessons
What an adventure. Breakers Island is your new home. It’s time for you to discover more about this very special place. You decide to share all the beauty and wonder you find in a newspaper.
Respect and Service
The discovery of new places, things, and people can broaden your ability to respect and serve others.
Mr. Morton made friends easily. He was well-liked by everyone. The people felt the newspaper had captured some of the magic and wonder of Breakers Island.
He liked to write stories about everyday life. The Island Messenger captured some of the magic and wonder of Breakers Island. Everyone looked forward to getting their next copy.
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:
- Begin the story with a curious and matter-of-fact tone of voice.
- Make your voice sound like an older kind gentleman when reading Mr. Morton’s lines.
- Change your voice tone like a friendly lady for Sue’s lines.
- Build a crescendo of enthusiasm and excitement in Mr. Morton’s speech when he opens his printing shop and begins to publish his newspaper, The Island Messenger.
- End the story with a content and proud tone of voice.
- Note: Extend the discussion regarding this story by asking your learner if they remember the stories that were based on the headlines in The Island Messenger.
Interject these questions to involve the learner:
- Who was Walter Morton?
- Why did Walter Morton open a small printing shop?
- Where did Mr. Morton stay when he first arrived?
- When did Mr. Morton decide to stay on Breakers Island?
- What did he write about in The Island Messenger?
Use the answers to these questions to recall points in the story.
- Who was the first person to meet Walter Morton?
From the dock, he walked to Sue’s Supply Store. She was the first person he met.
- Why did Mr. Morton open a small printing shop?
He had been an editor at a large city newspaper. He thought, “There are so many stories to tell. Breakers Island needs a newspaper and I’m the right man for the job.”
- What did Mr. Morton find on Breakers Island?
He saw that Breakers Island was very different. It had a strange beauty. It seemed that all of nature was at peace here.
- When did Mr. Morton decide to print four times a year?
He was going to print newspapers twice a year. Two things changed his mind. First, he found there was far more news to report. Second, the people liked his work and asked for more. Now, he was printing once a month.
- Where did Mr. Morton find his stories?
He liked to write stories about everyday life. He watched the fishermen and farmers at work. He spent hours walking through the meadows, woods, and mountains … His note pad was always filled with news and stories about people and animals.
- Note: Close with a discussion about why Walter Morton decided to retire on Breakers Island. What did he really find there?
Behavior/Social Development (All Ages):
- Begin a discussion with your learner by asking how they are informed about local things happening in their community. (Television, radio, newspaper, word of mouth, Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
- Look through stories and pictures in a local newspaper. Ask your learner to pick one article that is obviously a local story. Read the article together and ask (age-appropriate) “feeling” questions, such as:
- “Was that a happy or sad story?”
- “How do you feel about the story?”
- “Would you consider doing the same kind of thing?”
- “Does the story help or hurt people?” Etc.
- Based on your learner’s responses to the article, ask him/her if the article showed respect for and/or service to others?
- Continue a discussion about respect by asking your learner what kind of story he/she would put in the local newspaper that demonstrates respect.
- Repeat the same discussion about a story focusing on service to others.
- Pretend to be a news reporter and identify local activities or incidents that would be newsworthy. Brainstorm interview questions to ask.
- Ask your learner what kind of service they could give to their community, home, and school. Make a list of their responses.
- Discuss and Do. Discuss some ways to show respect for your neighborhood by making a habit of picking up garbage when playing in the park or when going for a walk.
- Discuss the importance of respecting and preserving nature. Research and identify animals that are on the verge of extinction. Read and discover ways they can preserve their environment.
Language Development (Younger Learners):
- Identify word patterns: Sounds “– OON”
Bolded words among the following are those used in The Island Messenger — balloon, boon, loon, moon, noon, soon, spoon.
- Identify and explain words that may not be familiar to your learner, such as “legend,” “passage,” “captured,” “headlines,” and “cast.”
- Call attention to compound words used in the story are “everyday,” “everyone,” “fireflies,” “headlines,” “lighthouse,” “newspaper,” “overlooked,” and “waterfall.”
- Introduce the word “respect” and give your learner 2-3 personal examples of what you respect. “I respect my parents, my boss, the United States flag, police officers, someone’s privacy.” Ask your learner, “What do you respect?” Write down the responses.
- Define the word “respect,” “A feeling of admiring someone or something that is good, valuable, or important.” Again, give 2-3 more personal examples of what you respect to your learner. Repeat the question, “What do you respect?” Write down the additional responses.
- Continue the discussion by identifying the reasons why you respect what
you mentioned. Some examples are:
- “I respect my parents because they provided a loving home for me.”
- “I respect my boss because he is the president of the company.”
- “I respect police officers because they have a dangerous job.”
- Ask your learner, “Why do you respect _______” (repeating one of his responses).
Note the reasons given for follow-up activities.
- Talk about ways your learner can show respect for adults and family
members. Together create a list of behaviors or actions that would show
respect. Some examples are:
- “saying please and thank you,”
- “not interrupting,”
- “doing chores,”
- “asking for things nicely,” etc.
- Extend the discussion and activity by asking your learner to share some
ways to show respect to their peers. Examples are:
- “be nice to others,”
“no name calling,”
- “taking turns,” etc.
- “be nice to others,”
- Have your learner identify how he/she feels when their peers treat them with respect and how he/she would feel if their peers disrespected them. Use examples of specific behaviors/actions. Some examples are:
- “How do you feel when your friend shares his toys with you?”
- “How would you feel if your friend called you a mean name in front of others?”
Language Development (Older Learners):
- Have your learner define what respect means in their own words. Next have them look up the definition and write it down on paper. Then have your learner describe all the ways they have acted respectfully within the past few days.
- Ask your learner to brainstorm synonyms for respect and write them down. Look up additional synonyms from other resources – thesaurus, dictionary, online, or an app on their cell phone. Have your learner retell the examples from personal experience using some of the synonyms.
- Ask your learner to articulate how he/she feels when they show respect to others and when others show respect to them. Refer back to the personal examples given in the previous discussion.
- Switch the discussion around to talk about the opposite, disrespect. Ask your learner what kinds of things or actions would be considered disrespectful? (Gossiping, name calling, insulting, bullying, etc.) Write down their responses.
- Have your learner share personal examples of how or when he/she may have experienced disrespect in their life. If your learner is having difficulty coming up with an answer, prompt them with some of your experiences. You can also ask them to finish the statement, “I felt disrespected when____.”
- Ask your learner to brainstorm synonyms for disrespect and write them down. Look up additional synonyms from other resources, thesaurus, dictionary, online, or an app on their cell phone. Have your learner retell examples of personal experience using some of the synonyms.
- Discuss why acting respectful is important. Some examples are, “To be successful in life, to get along with others, to be responsible, to be liked and respected by others, to have the right attitude, to show compassion.”
- Ask your learner to identify ways in which he/she could serve their family, school, and community that would show respect. Examples are picking up litter shows respect for the environment, doing chores for the elderly shows respect for others, participating in fundraisers shows respect for their school.
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):
- Design a “Family Respect” mobile using photos of family members, colored construction paper, ribbon, and a clothes hanger. Glue photos of individual family members showing respectful actions on the colored construction paper. Write a caption under each photo. Examples are:
- “My Mom respected my wishes and made my favorite meal.”
- “Big brother, Michael, respects me and helps me with my homework,” etc.
- Attach photos to the wire clothes hanger with brightly colored ribbon.
- Create a “Dazzling Do’s” sign. Using the list of behaviors regarding respect that your learner identified in the Language Development activities. Have them pick 3-4 of those behaviors they either do or plan to do regularly. Using white glue or a glue stick, write those behaviors on a dark piece of colored construction paper. Have your learner sprinkle glitter on the glue statements. Hang the sign in a prominent place.
Arts & Crafts Activities (Older Learners):
- Create a “Weekly Well Wish” compliment calendar. Decorate a blank monthly calendar to keep track of compliments you have given to others. Write down the compliment given, who it was given to and what their reaction was.
- Create a rap song about respect. The lyrics should point out the importance of respecting others, and how the world would look if everyone showed a little respect.
Involvement Tips (All Ages):
Discuss with your learner what to do if an adult was disrespectful to them. Suppose the grown-up yelled at them for something they didn’t do. Ask your learner, “What would you say?” and “What would you do?”
- Share compliments that were given to you and describe how it made you feel.
- Praise and compliment your learner for displaying respectful behavior.
- Identify and discuss a list of phrases to say that are respectful. Examples: “Excuse me,” “May I help you?” “Thank you, I appreciate _____,” “I apologize for hurting your feelings,” etc.
- Discuss with your learner how to handle being disrespected, especially by adults. Talk about what to say and do if accused of doing something wrong
He opened a small printing shop in the village of Red Haven. He made his home on the second floor. Mr. Morton hung a sign on his
building. It read, “The Island Messenger.”
Continue with learning experiences to extend your stay.
Follow-up Activities (All Ages):
- Create a recipe card for respect. Use some of the responses, listed by your learner in the social development and language development activities, as the ingredients needed for the recipe.
- Discuss respectful ways to answer the phone.
- Create a personalized “Way-To-Go” chart by writing down all the service behaviors your learner identified in the language development activities and actually performed.
Real-Life Activities (All Ages):
- Make a funny family video to give to an elderly relative.
- Place any stray shopping carts in a parking lot in their designated collection space.
- Clean the yard for an elderly or sick neighbor.
- Collect canned goods for a local food bank.
Mr. Morton went on his evening walk down to the bay. He walked by the docks and the fishing boats. He smelled the salt air. The moon cast a soft light on the waves that washed up on the sand.
Who would ever believe there was so much news on this small island.