In A Jar by Deborah Marcero is truly heartwarming and sweet! This book carries a beautiful message that makes it the perfect read-aloud for the end of the year. It’s ideal for encouraging students to reflect on the memorable moments they’ve shared throughout the school year.
A Tale of Memory Collectors
This enchanting picture book tells the story of a rabbit who collects memories in jars with his best friend. However, when his friend moves away, he finds himself once again collecting memories on his own. It is through this experience that he realizes he can still share his adventures with his friend by sending her some of his precious jars.
“In A Jar” touches on the importance of the memories created and shared by a class throughout the school year. It serves as a perfect catalyst for students to reflect on the wonderful moments they’ve had as a class.
Connecting Through Reflection
You can use this book as a standalone read-aloud, or pair it with various activities. Personally, I incorporate “In A Jar” into my end-of-year routine with my 4th graders. It’s one of several read-alouds I enjoy sharing during the last week of school.
Reflecting on Memories
Before delving into the story, I love using the Turn and Talk strategy, which allows all students to engage in discussion simultaneously. I begin by asking my students about their impressions of the book based solely on its cover. I want to pique their curiosity without giving away too much of the story. If necessary, you can also initiate a KWL (Know-Want to Know-Learn) chart about “Friendship” or “Memories” to help students grasp the metaphorical use of the jars as prompts.
During the read-aloud, I pause at key moments to discuss the symbolism of the jars. We explore their representation and their significance after Evelyn’s departure. To facilitate discussion, I pose questions for Turn and Talk:
- What is Llewellyn collecting in the jars?
- What does the jar represent?
- How did Llewellyn cope with Evelyn moving away?
Sharing Favorite Memories
After completing the read-aloud, we engage in more Turn and Talk, delving into our personal connections with Llewellyn’s experiences. We explore the Memory Jars we all share together. As a class, we create an anchor chart to visually document our reflections on the school year. It’s fascinating to witness the students’ collective reflection.
Capturing Memories in a Jar
To culminate the activity, each student selects their favorite memory from the school year and preserves it in a jar. Some students choose to draw their memory, while others write about it. Some even do both! My class consistently finds this read-aloud and its accompanying activities immensely enjoyable.
To complete the activity, I provide students with the option to draw on stationery paper specifically designed for this purpose. If you’re interested, you can find this resource on Ratingperson’s Teachers Pay Teachers store here.
For future reference, you can save this blog post or the In A Jar Read Aloud Lesson Plan by pinning them. If you’re looking for more end-of-year ideas, feel free to explore the other end-of-year read-alouds listed below:
- End of Year Read Aloud: Book #1 – I Wish You More
- End of Year Read Aloud: Book #2 – Say Something
- End of Year Read Aloud: Book #3 – The Invisible Web
- End of Year Read Aloud: Book #4 – Wherever You Go
I hope you find this guide helpful, and please let me know if you choose to share this wonderful book with your students. Enjoy the journey of rediscovering memories with “In A Jar”!
End of Year Gift Ideas
Are you in need of end-of-year gift ideas for your students? Check out these posts for some inspiration:
- DIY End-Of-Year Scratch-Off Cards
- DIY Student Word Art Self-Portrait
Thank you for reading! Be sure to follow Ratingperson for more teaching ideas.
Bye for now,
Prima from LittleYellowStar
Other Blog Posts That You Might Enjoy:
- How To Create A Calm Down Corner In The Classroom
- 11 Classroom Essential First Year Teacher Must-Haves That Won’t Break The Bank
- Meaningful And Fun Back To School Activity: Create A Classroom Wreath!