Lesson Plan based on the book “The Rabbit Listened” by Cori Doerrfeld


About the book:

Taylor is unexpectedly experiencing a loss. All the animals are sure they can help. The chicken wants to talk it out, but Taylor doesn’t feel like chatting. The bear thinks Taylor should get angry, but that’s not quite right either. One by one, the animals try to tell Taylor how to act, and one by one they fail to offer comfort. Then the rabbit arrives. All the rabbit does is listen . . . which is just what Taylor needs.

Objectives: Children to:

1. Be able to refer to emotions related to a loss (sadness, anger, denial, frustration, grief, pain, …).

2. Sustain the uniqueness of the experience of loss.

3. Understand the importance of empathy and how it can be practically achieved – active listening and non-verbal support.

4. Get to know DeBono’s hats.

Proposed Activities:

1. Reading the book, without revealing its title, up to the point where the main character of the story -Taylor- builds his tower. (white hat)

2. Students are asked to draw a tower on their own and write around it the emotions Taylor experiences (e.g. pride, joy, satisfaction, pleasure…). (red hat)

3. Reading the story up to the moment when the tower was demolished.

4. Students make a second drawing and refer to the emotions Taylor is experiencing now (frustration, sadness, anger, pain, sadness, denial to accept…) (red hat)

5. Reading the story up to the moment when Taylor is left alone.

6. Discussion on how each animal volunteered to help Taylor and why their attempt failed. (white hat – blue hat)

7. Group discussion: What would really help Taylor? (green hat)

8. Reading the story up to the end.

9. Class discussion: What did the rabbit do that helped Taylor? (emphasize active listening and non-verbal communication) (blue hat)

10. Conflicting emotions in relation to the different kind of support (black and yellow hat).

11. Students are asked to guess the title of the book.

12. The teacher reads the story from the begging to the end.

13. Debate on the topic: The rabbit listened. What about us? – Sharing relevant experiences in classroom (blue hat).

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