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How can Piggie and Gerald help fifth graders build community?

September 30, 2020 | Elizabeth Rachuri

Do you remember reading Mo Willems’ Elephant and Piggie books to your children?  I’ve had the pleasure of beginning this experience with my toddler over the past few months!

It may sound odd, but I’ve been reading these Piggie and Gerald books to fifth graders this year.  Yes, fifth graders.  We are using these stories as a way to connect and develop our class covenant.

As we read, many students fondly recall these stories from their younger years.  Students crane their necks to see the illustrations and laugh along with me at Piggie and Gerald’s latest antics.

We quickly found that these fun books are full of advice to fifth graders for developing and maintaining a peaceful and supportive community.   For example:

I am Invited to a Party reminds us to be prepared and trust our friends.

Today I Will Fly encourages us to ask for help.

I Really Like Slop implores us to be open-minded and not to overreact.

And the list goes on.

Ask your child what they learned from Piggie and Gerald this week!

Elizabeth Rachuri

Teacher, Grade 5

Elizabeth Rachuri has always wanted to be a teacher. She began her career as a five-year-old girl creating and grading tests for her friends. She refined her skills in college as she studied, among other things, how to help struggling readers. Mrs. Rachuri spent a semester in Guanajuato, Mexico, studying Spanish and eating pan dulce. After college, she traveled to Puerto Rico to teach at the Christian School and Chapel for the Deaf. There, she learned American Sign Language and how to kill poisonous centipedes.

Finally, Mrs. Rachuri arrived at Mustard Seed School. Since that time, she has been teaching in the middle school. Her favorite part about teaching at Mustard Seed is leading worship. She loves to tell stories and get people to think deeply about God.

When she’s not teaching, traveling, or learning new languages, Mrs. Rachuri loves to draw portraits, sew, and (believe it or not) clean her house. But her new favorite pastime is singing and dancing with her daughter!

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