~Reading guide/curriculum

~Activities

~Journal


Parents and teachers

CHAPTER-BY-CHAPTER
READING GUIDE AND CURRICULUM



Use this chapter-by-chapter reading guide and curriculum that correlates to the Born to Fly book. Scroll down for companion activities and directions to help your students journal about their own dreams.


BOOK COVER
  • Do you know what animal this is?  
  • What do you know about caterpillars?
  • What do you think the title means—Born to Fly?

Activity:  Butterfly pointer

See directions below.

FAMILY PORTRAIT

Family portrait of Blossom, Popi, and Max:
  • What is unusual about the middle caterpillar in the picture? (He is old; he never turned into a butterfly.)
CHAPTER 1
  • What do Blossom and Max eat for supper? Why don’t they like it?
  • What does Popi recite for them? (the Legend of the Dark Cloud)
  • Why is there a Dark Cloud over the land?
  • What choice did the caterpillars of long ago make? Do you think those caterpillars made a good choice?
  • Why was it a bad choice? Who was hurt by that choice? (The caterpillars have to go to bed hungry, and the Dark Cloud has come to take away the color in their world.)
Review: What is a choice?
The word choice means to pick one thing out of many, like choosing which shirt or dress to wear. Some choices are very important. The caterpillars of long ago had a choice to make: whether to cut down the Moonbeam Fruit Trees to keep warm or not. When our choices hurt ourselves or others, they are not good choices.

CHAPTER 2

  • Where does the Silver Breeze take Blossom? (High Hills, to the only Moonbeam Tree left)
  • How did the one Moonbeam Tree survive? (The Silver Breeze carried it to the High Hills.)
  • What is important about the full moon? (It is the only time the Moonbeam Tree blooms.)
  • How do you know Blossom is happy in the High Hills? (The Moonbeam Fruit is there and she dreams of bringing it back to everyone.)
Review: What is a dream?
Blossom has a very special dream each night, but she also dreams during the day. That means she wants something to happen so much that she thinks about it all the time. What is the difference between what you dream at night and what you dream in your heart?

  • What are some of the differences between Blossom and the other caterpillars? (They are content to eat Stick Soup every night; she is not. She dreams of something more in life; they are content to be where they are.)
  • Do you have a dream in your heart?    
CHAPTER 3
  • When Blossom is in school, what does she think about when she looks out the window?
  • Why do the other caterpillars make fun of her?
  • What kind of creature is Blossom at this point? Will she ever change?
  • Do people go through changes like caterpillars do?
CHAPTER 4
  • Who does Blossom tell about her dream? Why?
  • What is Popi’s reply? Why does he want Blossom to stay in school?
  • What was Popi’s secret? (The hidden scroll with something mysterious on it)
  • Do Popi and Blossom understand the scroll?
  • Popi knows that solving the riddle on the scroll will remove the Dark Cloud. What is Popi wrapping the scroll in? (His old blanket)
  • Popi warns Blossom about something. (Dream Thieves who will try to take Blossom’s blanket and her dream from her.)
Review: Why is staying in school important?
Popi loves Blossom and wants her to make a good choice to stay in school. He shares a special secret with her to help her understand why this is important. Popi knows that school is the best way for Blossom to prepare for a life. School will prepare her to do something very important for her family and community.  

  • Why is it so difficult for Blossom to finish school? (She is impatient.)
  • What happened to the other caterpillars that left school early? (They did not find the Moonbeam Tree and lost things that were important to them along the way.)
  • How could school help someone be successful?
CHAPTER 5
  • Why is Max sick?
  • What does Blossom want to do for Max? What does Popi say?
  • Why does Blossom want to leave?
  • What does Blossom take from Popi’s office? Why does she take it?
  • What did she forget to bring? (food, map) What do you think will happen?
Review: What is a consequence?
The word consequence means the result of an action or a choice. Some consequences are good ones, like studying hard in school and making good grades. Some consequences are bad ones, like disobeying your parents and getting into trouble with them. It’s important to stop and think about the consequences of a choice before you make it.  

  • When Blossom will not listen to Popi, who does Popi warn her about? (Dream Thieves)
  • What are some of the things Popi tells her Dream Thieves do?
  • What are the choices Blossom can make? (Stay and go to school and obey Popi; or disobey Popi and try to find the Moonbeam Tree)
  • What is the choice Blossom makes?
  • What influences Blossom’s choice? (Max is sick.)
  • Do you think the consequences of her choice will be good or bad?
CHAPTER 6
  • How does Blossom’s journey begin? Does she make as much progress as she hoped? Why not?
  • Who does Blossom meet? (Tadpole and Cricket) Are they friends or foes? How do you know?
  • Where are Cricket and Tadpole going? (They are also going to the High Hills to look for the Moonbeam Tree so they can eat the seeds and follow their dreams.)
  • What are their dreams? (Explain how a tadpole becomes a frog.)
  • Who else does Blossom meet? (Dream Thieves) Are they friends? How can you tell?
  • What do they carry? Are those things valuable? (Explain that something can be valuable in terms of money, but not be valuable like a person.)
  • Why do the caterpillars need Moonbeam seeds? Why do others like Cricket and Tadpole want the seeds?
  • Why is Blossom’s journey more difficult than she was expecting? (She did not plan well; the tree is further away than she thought.)
  • Blossom is lost. How does being lost feel?
Review: Who is a true friend?
Explain to students that they choose their friends. Ask what they look for in a person when choosing a good friend.

  • How do you know when a person you meet is a friend? Can you tell by the way they look?
  • What is one word you would use to describe your best friend?
  • Do you think Max and Popi are worried about Blossom? True friends are concerned about you.
Activity: Friendship Frame
See directions below.

CHAPTER 7

  • Who does Blossom meet? (Auntie Kim)
  • Do you think this caterpillar is a friend to Blossom?
  • What does Auntie Kim want Blossom to do? (Trade part of her blanket for a map)
  • Is this caterpillar a friend to Blossom? What is she? (Dream Thief)
  • What does Blossom do? Was that a good choice or a bad choice?  What is the result of her choice? What would you have done?
  • After Blossom trades part of her blanket for the worthless map, why does she have trouble hearing the Silver Breeze?
  • What does the Silver Breeze tell her? What does he mean when he says, “Choices have consequences”? What was Blossom’s choice? What was the consequence?
Review: What value does a true friend place on you?
People can call themselves our friends, but they may not be. How do we know? We can ask an important question: “How does _________ treat me?” People can treat you nicely when there are no problems and badly at other times; is that a true friend? A true friend always tells you the truth, helps you when you need help, and gives you support as you pursue your dreams.
  • What do you think about the caterpillars who wouldn’t help their friends?
  • How do you know that Cricket and Tadpole are Blossom’s true friends? (They tell her the truth, help her when she needs help, and want to help her make her dream come true.)
CHAPTER 8
  • What happens when Blossom is reunited with Cricket and Tadpole? (They let her copy their map on the back of Popi’s scroll.)
  • Why do Cricket and Tadpole have to travel by water? (Tadpole must stay in the water.)
  • Who else does Blossom meet? (Another Dream Thief) Did you know he was a Dream Thief? Did Blossom know? How can you tell a Dream Thief from a true friend?
  • What happened to the stick that Blossom received after she traded part of her blanket?
  • What picture does Blossom draw on the back of Popi’s scroll? (Worthless stick that Dream Thief sold her) Why? (To remind her that choices have consequences)
  • What does Blossom vow at the end of the chapter? (She’ll never fall for the lies of a Dream Thief again.) Do you think she will keep that vow?
Review: What is a Dream Thief?
Discuss with children about dream thieves.
  • What does such a person want to take from you?
  • How have the Dream Thieves behaved in the story so far? Explain that a Dream Thief is a liar who tries to convince you to do what they want. Dream Thieves trick you over and over again and try to pretend they are your friends.
  • Tell about some of the Dream Thieves that Blossom meets.
  • Which Dream Thief tries to disguise herself as a friend to Blossom? (All of them)
  • How do the Dream Thieves try to stop Blossom?
  • What lies do they tell her? (That Cricket told her to sell a map to Blossom)
  • When Blossom finds Cricket and Tadpole, what do they give her?
  • Do you think Blossom is learning to tell the difference between a Dream Thief and a true friend?
  • What is the difference between Cricket and Tadpole and the Dream Thieves?
  • How do you think a Dream Thief might talk to you?
Point out:
  • Dream Thieves can look like anyone—even our friends.
  • They do not announce themselves as people who are going to trick you or hurt you.
  • They can be young or old.
  • They can be someone you already know.
  • They can be someone you go to school with—another student.
CHAPTER 9
  • At the beginning of this chapter we learn the moon is getting smaller each night. What does that mean for Blossom? (Time is passing. Discuss phases of the moon.)
  • The Silver Breeze tells Blossom, “You are valuable.” What does that mean?
  • What was Blossom’s choice? What was the consequence?
  • What are the lessons Blossom is starting to learn? Is she starting to solve the riddle yet?
  • What does Blossom draw on the back of Popi’s scroll? (Picture of herself) Why? (To remind herself what the Silver Breeze said: “You are valuable.”)
  • How did the lantern seller trick Blossom? How much did the lantern cost?
  • Blossom already learned a hard lesson about making trades with the Dream Thieves. Why do you think she took the lantern and oil from them?
  • What happens to Blossom as a result? How is Blossom feeling now? (Not valuable; not loved)
Review: How do you know you are valuable?
Blossom is learning hard lessons about who to trust and about making good choices. She is learning who true friends are and that being impatient (unwilling to wait) can cost you dearly. Every person is unique (one of a kind), valuable and deserves to be treated well. Blossom has a hard time being patient (willing to wait). Every time Blossom is impatient and makes a choice that isn’t wise, she loses something and feels bad. The drawings Blossom has made on her scroll help her remember the lessons she is learning. When you have made a bad choice or when people treat you badly, it can be very difficult to remember you are valuable. If Blossom can remember how valuable she really is, that she matters as a person and that her dreams matter, then she can make better choices in the future.
  • What has Blossom lost so far? Does she still have her dream or has it been stolen from her?
  • Is she having a hard time remembering she is unique and valuable?
  • What decision might have kept her in a safe place where she felt valued and loved?
CHAPTER 10
  • What does Blossom see inside the Den of Thieves? Is the tree real? Why do the Dream Thieves have a fake tree? (It is a counterfeit to the Moonbeam Tree, the only tree left.)
  • What does Blossom see hanging on the Dream Thieves’ fake tree?
  • How do the Dream Thieves use the items on this tree to steal dreams?
  • What does Blossom see inside her heart? (ugly vines) What is written on them? (“Impatience”) What does this mean?
  • What do the vines become? Who is inside? What do you think will happen next?
CHAPTER 11
  • Why can’t the Dream Thieves find Blossom?
  • What does Blossom hear herself saying? (“I’m not impatient! I just can’t wait. Why should I wait? Why can’t I leave now? I don’t have time to be patient!”)
  • Is Blossom sorry for what she said? What does it mean to really be sorry? What is the difference between being sorry for what you did and being sorry that you got caught?   (Repentance means being sorry plus being willing to change.)
  • What has appeared inside the cocoon with her? (Blossom’s blanket) Who brought her blanket back to her? (Silver Breeze) Explain that the correct name for a butterfly cocoon is a chrysalis.
  • Blossom wants to get out of the vines as soon as possible because they are very painful. Silver Breeze wants her to stay there. Why?
  • What does the Silver Breeze tell her? (“You were born to fly; don’t settle for less.”) What do you think this means?
  • How does the Silver Breeze say that a dream can die? (If you stop trying to reach it, if you become impatient, if you sell or trade it for something else)
  • What do the words patience and perseverance mean?
CHAPTER 12
Remind students that breaking out of a cocoon (chrysalis) is very difficult, but it helps the butterfly strengthen the muscles in its wings; otherwise the butterfly will never be able to fly.
  • What is different about Blossom when she comes out of the vines?
  • Why is Blossom shocked? (Because she now has wings)
  • Does she know what wings are for or how to use them? Why not?
  • What has Blossom become? Why doesn’t she realize it? (butterfly; she’s never seen one)
  • What does the Dream Thief mean when he asks, “What if she’s the one? What if she’s already solved it?” (He’s referring to the line in the Legend of the Dark Cloud about the one who will solve the riddle and dispel the Dark Cloud over the land.)
  • The Dream Thieves have Blossom’s scroll but do they understand what she drew on it?
Activity: Thumbprint Caterpillars and Butterflies
See directions below.

CHAPTER 13

  • What is Blossom’s reaction when she sees her wings? (Shame)
  • Why does she hide from the other caterpillars?
  • What choice does Blossom have to make? (Going home now or trying to find the Moonbeam Tree)
  • What could be the consequences of each choice she might make?
  • What does Blossom decide to do and why? (Return to Twig Valley so she can get better prepared. She knows the Dream Thieves are looking for her, and the moon is not full so the Moonbeam Tree will not be in bloom for weeks.)
  • Did Blossom bring back seeds for everyone in Twig Valley like she wanted to do? (No, just like everyone else who had left the village, she didn’t do what she promised.)
  • Where is Popi and why is he running toward Blossom? What do you think he will do or say? What is Popi’s reaction to Blossom on her return?
  • Why is Max shocked at how Blossom looks?
  • Blossom confesses to Popi that she lost the family scroll. How does Popi react? (He is upset but still loves her; he forgives her.)
  • What 4 things does Blossom draw for him and what do they mean? (Drawing of dead stick means “Choices have consequences.” Cricket and Tadpole means “It is important to know who your true friends are.” Blossom means “You are valuable.” Cocoon means “You were born to fly; don’t settle for less.”)
Review: What is unconditional love?
Unconditional love means the other person offers you acceptance, welcome, warmth, and respect, no matter what has happened. Unconditional love cannot remove consequences of choices, but it can make you feel safe, valued, and hopeful about your future. Unconditional love is what Popi offers to Blossom. He isn’t happy she was impatient and disobeyed him and left, but he’s very happy to have her home again with her new wings.
  • Who loves you like Popi loves Blossom?
  • Would Blossom have known Popi loved her this way if she hadn’t turned around and come back home?
  • Where is a safe place for you to be loved, valued and protected? A safe place is a place you can be where you are loved, valued, and protected from harm while you change, grow up, and make mistakes and learn from them. A safe place is where your dreams and hopes are valued and where others help you make good choices so your dreams can come true.
  • Blossom has a safe place back at home with Popi and Max. Do you have a safe place like that?
  • Who helps you make good choices? Who talks with you about your dreams and hopes?
Activity: Secret Scroll
See directions below.
  • Which of the symbols and drawings on Blossom’s scroll surprised you the most?
  • If you could pick one to help you in your own life, which would it be? Why?
Review: What is patience and why is it so hard to be patient?
Blossom has learned some things she doesn’t ever want to forget, so she made a secret scroll, just as you have. One of her most difficult lessons to learn was being patient (having to wait for something to happen). She learned a little about patience, and now she has to practice it.
  • What makes it so hard to be patient?
CHAPTER 14
  • Why can’t Max sleep? What is in the room?
  • The Dark Cloud is gone, but what does Blossom still have to do every day?
  • Why does the Dark Cloud start to break up? (Someone must have solved the riddle.) Who do you think solved it? How?
  • How does Blossom realize she is the one who solved the riddle?
  • Does she still want to try to find the Moonbeam Tree? What is she practicing? (being patient)
  • Why does Popi give Blossom permission to try to find the Moonbeam Tree again? What is the condition? (She must wait until she graduates.)
Review: Why are your dreams worth working hard for and waiting for?
Blossom is holding on tight to her dream of visiting the Moonbeam Tree again and coming back with the seeds, but she knows that before she leaves she needs to complete her education. Lots of hard work is ahead of her and she will have to be determined and not let herself get discouraged.
  • Have you ever worked very hard to get something you really wanted? (Share a personal example to help students understand hard work and perseverance.)
  • Did you get discouraged while you were working so hard?
CHAPTER 15
  • How do the Dream Thieves try to trick Blossom?
  • What does Blossom do when she meets a Dream Thief? (Ignores them)
  • What is Cricket’s reaction when Blossom shows him her wings?
Review
Ask students to take out their scrolls and add a picture or write the names of the people in their lives who can help them be strong as they wait patiently and work hard to achieve their dreams. Remind them that these people are a very important part of their lives and making their dreams come true.
  • Who can help you be strong while you’re being patient, working hard, and waiting for the right time to make your dreams come true?
  • Blossom has Popi and her true friends to help her be strong and hold on to her dreams and work hard to achieve them.
  • Why did Blossom choose to obey Popi? Why was that a smart thing to do?
  • Why did Blossom decide to travel with her friends instead of by herself? Why is that important?
  • What are some of the things Blossom did to prepare for this trip that she didn’t do last time?
CHAPTER 16
  • What is the friends’ plan?
  • What do the friends have to pass on the way to the Moonbeam Tree?
  • What problem does Blossom face?
  • How are Cricket and Tadpole true friends to Blossom? (The friends take turns sleeping and guarding each other.)
  • What are the musical notes? (Cricket’s warning) Can Blossom hear them?
CHAPTER 17
  • What happens when Blossom falls asleep on the cliff?
  • What sound does she miss while she’s sleeping? (Cricket chirping to warn her the Dream Thieves are coming)
  • Why is one of the Dream Thieves hiding his eyes? (He’s afraid of Blossom.)
  • Why would a Dream Thief be afraid of Blossom?
  • What happens when the Dream Thieves push Blossom off the cliff?
  • Why is she afraid to fly across the ravine?
  • What does Blossom do when she finally reaches the Moonbeam Tree? (Eats fruit)
  • Why does she save the seeds? (To take them back to her family and friends)
  • How does Blossom show she is a true friend to Cricket and Frog? (Gives them seeds)
  • What does Blossom tell her friends about the secret place?
  • What does she do as she flies home? (Drops seeds so they will grow into Moonbeam Trees)
Activity: Butterfly Wings
See directions below.

Review: Don’t give up

Blossom never gave up on her dream, although she had to learn a lot of hard lessons and had to wait for just the right time to act. Now she has learned a very special lesson: Her wings mean she was “born to fly.”
  • What meaning do Blossom’s wings have? (She was born to fly.)
  • What did you think the title Born to Fly meant before you read the book?
  • Are you like Blossom in any way? How are you born to fly?
CHAPTER 18
  • How is Blossom’s second return to Twig Valley different from the first time?
  • What do the villagers have to do to make sure the seeds grow?
  • What dreams can you see that have come true? (Frog jumping, Cricket singing, Max healthy, etc.)
  • How do you think the villagers feel as they finally get to eat Moonbeam Stew?
  • (Last illustration in this chapter) Point out all the different things happening. What do you see in the trees? (Use the butterfly pointer to review the life cycle of the butterfly.)
  • What has happened to Max and Popi?
  • Why are there more butterflies in the village now?
  • What is the teacher teaching the young caterpillars?
Review: What or who can stand between you and your dreams?
In previous chapters, students identified Dream Thieves. Ask students to recall those. Their own impatience and lack of belief in their value as persons can steal their dreams, too. Remind them that they have their own “wings” to carry them to their dreams, but those wings take time to develop and grow strong.
Who can help you make good choices to keep your dreams alive? Previously students identified people who love them unconditionally and who their true friends are. True friends truly love them, want the best for them, and will be able to help them keep their dreams alive.
  • When will be the right time for you to “spread your wings” to fly to make your dream come true?
  • Who will cheer you on as you achieve these dreams?
Activity: Look at us! We’re born to fly!
See directions below.


(c) 2011 Born to Fly International. Used with permission. Permission given to reproduce.
Credits: Diana Scimone, Karen Armistead, Georgia Ana Larson for activities, games, and curriculum
ACTIVITIES

Butterfly Pointer

You can make one butterfly pointer for yourself, or have your students each make one. As you read the book to the children, use the pointer to point to the illustrations. On a long thin stick or thin wooden rod, glue these objects on it: cut-out or photo of butterfly about 4 inches from the end, a chrysalis further down, a caterpillar below that and a tiny egg below that. You can find photos or drawings of these online. Explain the life cycle of the butterfly briefly using the items attached to your reading pointer.

Friendship Frame


Students will make a friendship frame similar to the one at the beginning of the book with Blossom’s family. Remind students that some of Blossom’s best friends are in her family. Have students draw a large oval on a piece of art paper. Inside it draw several of their best friends; these can be family members or people outside their families. They can include themselves in the picture, too, if they wish. Then glue small twigs or cut yarn pieces to make a friendship frame around these true friends. Show students your friendship frame and talk about the people in it. Have students show their work and share about their friends. Emphasize why these people are true friends.

Thumbprint Caterpillars and Butterflies

Explain that each person’s fingerprints are unique (one-of-a-kind); fingerprints are a reminder that they are valuable and worth treasuring, different from every other human in the world and able to make special contributions to family and community and world. Use inkpads or markers to create thumbprints. To make caterpillars, press 4 or 5 thumbprints in a row; use crayons to draw feet, eyes, etc. To make butterflies, press 2 thumbprints side by side to make wings; use crayons to draw antennae, eyes, etc. This can be a messy activity, so be sure to offer wipes or cloths (wet in alcohol) to clean fingertips. Have the children name their caterpillars and butterflies. Like Blossom, each student is a one-of-a-kind person with his/her own special dreams and desires. Let students share their unique creations.

Secret Scroll


Have students create their own secret scroll like Popi’s. On it draw the symbols that Blossom drew, and then add others that have special meaning for them (something that represents a dream they have for themselves or reminds them of a life lesson they don’t want to forget). When their secret scrolls are complete, have the students roll their scrolls and wrap them in a piece of fabric (like Popi’s blanket) and tie it with yarn.
Which of the symbols and drawings on Blossom’s scroll surprised you the most?
If you could pick one to help you in your own life, which would it be? Why?

Butterfly Wings


Make a sample of undecorated butterfly wings. (See http://www.videojug.com/film/how-to-make-your-own-wings  for directions.) Alter the butterfly wing pattern for scale onto poster board and make a pattern from which to draw and cut other wings prior to class. For each set of wings, fold the poster board in half, draw the wings, and cut them out. Have students help you measure and cut two lengthens of elastic cord (30 cm or 12”); staple each cord near the top and bottom of the inside of each butterfly wing to form armholes. Children can decorate wings using glue and embellishments or draw or write on them with markers, colored pencils or crayons. Their decorations should answer the question, “What am I dreaming about being or doing in my life?” Wear the wings by slipping your arms into the elastic cord armholes. Have students wear wings and share what they put on them.

Look at us! We’re born to fly!


At the top of a blank posterboard, write “I am born to fly!” Have students write their names on the poster and draw a butterfly to represent themselves. Help the students slip on their wings. Take a group photo and give copies to give to students or display the group photo in class.

KEEPING A JOURNAL

Your students can keep a journal as you read Born to Fly, which will give them an opportunity to think more deeply about the meaning of the story as it relates to their own lives.

Ask students to write their names in their journals and draw a picture of a butterfly that represents their own desire to dream and be free and successful someday.

Journal prompts: You can ask students to answer these questions in their journals. If they wish, they can share and discuss with the class. (Don’t force anyone to read their journals because you want to encourage them to write their feelings without having to share with others.)  In discussion time, be very encouraging; take time to point out what is positive about each person’s responses and share your own answers to these questions from your life and experiences.

1. Making right choices

  • A past choice I wish I could change is:
  • What are good questions to ask yourself when making a choice?
  • Do you have dream that you are following? How are you following it?
  • Are you staying in school? What can you do to learn more to help you in the future?
  • What is the worst consequence you’ve experienced from making a choice? The best consequence?
  • What have you learned about making choices that you could share with others?
2. Bad, better, and best relationships

On a whiteboard, chalkboard, or poster, draw a large triangle on the board. Divide it horizontally into 3 sections. In the bottom section, make 4 small blocks; in the middle section, 3; in the top section 2. Have students copy the drawing in their journals.

Explain that the top represents a good friend and the student; students can write the name of that good friend and their own name in the blocks at the top. On the seven other blocks, write traits, characteristics, behaviors, actions, or attitudes they look for in a true friend. Invite students to share answers with the class. These are some of qualities, behaviors, or attitudes that may emerge as important (if they don’t, suggest them): truthful, honest, supportive, constant, warm, loving, fun to be with, reliable, kind, committed to you.


Ask students what one thing a friend could do to destroy a relationship with them. Point out that just as good relationships are built on good character qualities and habits, bad relationships are built on bad character foundations: lying, deception, stealing, hurtful words, using drugs or cigarettes, selling them, etc.


Discuss one of the things Blossom wrote on her scroll: "It is important to know who your true friends are."
  • Which of your possessions means the most to you? Why?
  • Is being valuable as a person based on what you do, or is it based on who you are? Why?
  • Why do Dream Thieves try so hard to get you to do what they want?
  • What can you do to make sure your dreams don’t get taken from you?
  • Do you know any real-life Dream Thieves?
  • Do you have a “safe” or trusted adult you can talk to in your family, school, or community?
3. Keeping safe while you grow up

Blossom got herself in trouble by listening to Dream Thieves. Part of the reason for her difficulties is she didn’t stay safe at home with Popi while she matured. When you are immature, it’s easy to make mistakes because you lack information about how the world works. Blossom’s wings are a sign she is maturing.


What are some signs you are maturing? These can be physical, mental, or emotional signs. Have students write in their journals.

Blossom returns to Popi to finish maturing on the inside (in her mind and heart) as she has on the outside. Who do you have in your life to help protect and advise you as you are growing up on the inside?
  • Have you ever felt trapped as Blossom did inside the cocoon? Was it a good thing or a bad thing to be trapped? What did you learn from that experience?
  • There are times when you must not be patient and must not accept what is happening. Can you think of an example?
  • Who do you love unconditionally? Who loves you unconditionally (as Popi loves Blossom)?
  • What does unconditional love mean to you?
  • Why is it so hard to love this way?
4. Putting your dreams into words and working to make them come true

Before class, prepare your own goal-setting activity as described below—for instance, how you achieved a personal educational goal by taking specific steps. Draw the ladder illustration on the board or poster: ladder with rungs wide enough to write on. Title the ladder “Putting your dreams into words.” On each of the lower rungs, write one of the smaller steps you had to take to reach your goal. Add a small figure drawn on one side (someone who encouraged you on your journey).


How Blossom prepared for her second journey shows the importance of actually having a real, formulated, written-down plan for making our dreams come true. Blossom has true friends, supportive family members, and a scroll that documents all the things she’s learned. Committing herself to hard work and continued patience is easier for her because she has all this in place.


Have students draw a ladder in their journals. At the top of the ladder, have them name a goal (long- or short-term). Ask them to brainstorm out loud what steps they might have to take to reach their goals. Label each of the lower rungs with one of the necessary smaller steps.


To the side of the ladder have them draw a person who can be a coach or adult encourager to help with motivation and commitment when impatience or discouragement is a problem. Ask students to write the name of that person on the page of their journal. Blossom had Popi to encourage her. Remind them that meeting with an adult encourager (an older friend, a trusted friend of the family, an older family member, someone who has had the same goal in the past and achieved it) can be critical to sticking to their plan to make their dreams come true.


Ask students to write in their journals:
  • Describe a time when you had to be patient to get something you really wanted.
  • Persevere means to keep on working hard even though you may feel discouraged. What kinds of things do you like to hear people say to you or do for you when you’re discouraged?
  • Are there people or circumstances that put pressure on you? What could happen for you if you give in to these pressures?
5. Building your Dream Team

Blossom learns that having wings means she was born to fly. She also learns that her wings make it possible for her to defeat the Dream Thieves as well as reach the Moonbeam Tree and bring back the seeds to Twig Valley. Blossom returns home joyfully, and the seeds she carries with her bring changes for good to everyone she cares about. Having the right kind of support and preparation before trying again to reach her goal made all the difference for Blossom. Discuss with students:

  • What is a “dream team”? (Friends and family who support you and help you so that you can pursue your dream—so you can spread your wings to fly)
  • Who is Blossom’s “dream team”? (Review characters who all support Blossom’s dreams.)
Ask students to write the title “My Dream Team” across a page of their journals. Just as Blossom needed an entire team to advise her, teach her, and support her, they do, too. Have them make a list of people who can be a part of their Dream Team, people who care about them, support them and encourage them. These could be a teacher or spiritual leader, a soccer coach, family members, a counselor, or advisor. They can include a special trusted person on that list to contact.

Now that you’ve read this book, how would you tell other children they can be free to follow their dreams, but still be safe?
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