Books for Back-to-School: Say Hello!

Here’s another children’s book that might come in handy early in the school year. Say Hello!, a picture book by Rachel Isadora, is a good one for when you are introducing Morning Meeting, especially greetings, to your class. In this book, Carmelita, her mother, and their dog Manny run errands in their city. As they do so, they greet friends and merchants in the languages they all speak. The simple story conveys the power of a respectful greeting, happily and openly given.

After reading Say Hello!, ask students what they noticed about how people in the book seemed to feel when Rachel and her mother greeted them. You might also look at various aspects of the greetings, such as facial expressions, tone of voice, body posture, and choice of words.

Then, make the connection to classroom life by explaining that you will start each school day with a happy, respectful greeting like the ones Carmelita, her mother, and Manny gave. If you haven’t already done so (or if it seems like a good time to practice), use interactive modeling to teach students how to greet, pointing out the skills that are the same as those Carmelita and her mother used in the book.

To learn more about how to do this,  see the Morning Meeting Greetings in a Responsive Classroom DVD. It shows real teachers teaching and leading leading eleven different greetings.

Margaret Berry Wilson is the author of several books, including: The Language of Learning, Doing Science in Morning Meeting (co-authored with Lara Webb), Interactive Modeling, and Teasing, Tattling, Defiance & More.

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