Beautiful Oops! School-Wide Lesson & Project

I am a School Counselor in Cherry Hill, NJ and heard about Beautiful Oops! while attending the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) National Conference this past summer. I wanted to bring the book to my school, and find a way to bring the lesson of “making a mistake and turning it into something good” to all of my students.  I received Beautiful Oops! posters for every room in my schools and stickers for every student. Most teachers had the poster hung before I came in to do my lessons. I did lessons with Kindergarten — fifth grade students. I began my lessons with a discussion about making mistakes, and how everyone makes mistakes sometimes. We discussed the idea that mistakes can be an opportunity to learn and change what we do. I then read the story to the students. After the first page almost every student was hooked—the younger students could not believe that I had purchased a book with a rip in it; I could see the “light bulb” go off for my older students when I turned from the ripped page to the next (there were many “aahs” and gasps).

After reading the story, the students completed an art project to make their own Beautiful Oops! Kindergarten and first grade students were given a torn piece of construction paper and were asked to draw a picture using the tears in the paper (there were many crowns, steps, bridges, and ocean scenes drawn). Second and third grade students were each given a blank piece of paper, and some construction paper. They were told that they needed to make a picture and try to fill their entire page using only the construction paper and glue sticks. I was very impressed with the creativity of my students—creating beautiful ripped paper pictures of animals, outdoor scenes, flags, etc.  The fourth grade students worked in groups to create a collective picture. Groups were each given one piece of paper and coloring supplies and had a set amount of time for each group member to contribute to the drawing.  My fifth grade students worked in pairs to create their own page in a beautiful oops class book. All students received a Beautiful Oops! sticker to show their participation in the project. Once all of the projects were complete, I displayed them on a bulletin board for all students to see. As I was putting up the bulletin boards, many students were eagerly searching for their picture.  This story teaches a valuable lesson for all students—the ability to take a mistake, learn from it, and try to turn it into something good!

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Beautiful Oops! The book that inspired the program

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Barney Saltzberg Barney Saltzberg captivates audiences at schools, libraries, and bookstores where he draws pictures, plays his guitar, and talks about the creative process behind books and songs.

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When you think you have made a mistake think of it as an opportunity to make something beautiful!