You can't always judge a book by its cover.
Such an important lesson, but how to teach it? How do you teach the idea of taking a closer look at someone, or something, before you judge? How to teach the idea of getting more information, and looking beyond what you first may see? Challenging, and best learned through experience, but I thought I'd give it a try by using the analogy of fruit with my kids.
I took my boys (all three of them!) to the grocery store. I asked each of them to find fruit that tastes great on the inside, but not on the outside. They grabbed bananas, kiwi, and oranges...and my eldest tossed in some peanuts, which worked for our analogy. Does anyone else have kids who like to add to the grocery list?
As we were heading home, I regretted not grabbing some avocados for our analogy. I would have loved to make some guacamole dip after our experiment. Next time!
Let the experiment begin:
None of these taste good on the outside -
you have to peel away a layer to get to the good stuff.
a little fuzzy on the outside,
but oh so juicy and tasty!
very tough on the outside,
but so good on the inside!
After we sampled the peanuts and fruits, we talked about how important it is to get to know people...to peel back the exterior layers and learn about the person. This peeling (getting to know others) takes some time, just as peeling the kiwi and opening the peanuts did as well.
Next we sampled an apple...one that I knew had been shoved to the back of the refrigerator...one that wasn't so fresh. I held it up for my boys to see and it looked oh so shiny and delicious - but I knew the truth. Disclaimer: no child was harmed during this experiment!
After taking a sour bite, we talked about how something may look great, but not be. Just because something is red and shiny doesn't mean it is good on the inside. And yes, I have to admit (I taught literature!), we read "Little Red Riding Hood". Of course that book also lends nicely to the discussion of not eating food or candy from a stranger.
Back to the fruit analogies. We had fun, and we kept it real: food my boys get, and we had a great discussion about friendship. As they get older, we'll take the discussion deeper. But for today, the kiwi, peanuts, oranges, bananas, and sour apple worked great.
I love songs that sing simple, yet great messages. And we like to rock out at our house, especially after a sit-down fruit activity! Check out this YouTube video of Bo Diddley singing "You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover" here.
"Spread love everywhere you go: First of all in your own house...let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness."
Hope your day is great!