READ A BOOK
Katy Hudson’s The Golden Acorn follows Squirrel for his favorite event of the year, the Golden Acorn Hunt. And Squirrel loves to win! But there’s a catch this year, he has to compete as part of a team. A team? But Squirrel is the fastest acorn hunter of them all! Can Squirrel put aside his ambition and consider his friends? Can this winner be humble enough to be a good sport?
Hudson, Katy. The Golden Acorn. Capstone Editions, 2019.
You can find this book at your local library, independent book seller, OR ….
MAKE A FAITH CONNECTION
- What does Squirrel want?
- Squirrel has a special talent. All talents are given to us by God. Squirrel is so glad she has this talent and she loves to prove it.
- What is Squirrel’s talent? How does she show it?
- Squirrel cares a lot about winning.
- What do you see in the pictures that shows this?
- What has Squirrel done to make sure she’s going to win again?
- There is a change in the rules.
- Why doesn’t Squirrel like this change?
- What does Squirrel have to do because of the rules?
- Who wants to be on Squirrel’s team?
- Perhaps she can help her friends get better at being fast.
- What does she to help them?
- When the race for the Golden Acorn begins, Squirrel is in the lead.
- What keeps her from staying ahead?
- Why do you think Squirrel stops to help her friends each time they need her?
- Do you think that was easy for Squirrel? Why or why not?
- Squirrel is the first one to find the Golden Acorn.
- Then why doesn’t Squirrel win?
- What does Squirrel value more – winning or her friends?
- How does she show this?
- In this story, Squirrel learns to be humble. Being humble means to think of others before yourself. Being humble doesn’t mean that you can’t feel good about all the good things that you are able to do. Squirrel knows she is a fast racer. But her friends matter too. They matter more than winning again. They matter more than her pride.
- Jesus told many stories about being humble. He said it was very important for Christians to be humble. There is a story in the Bible about Jesus’ friends. After they arrive in a town, he asks his friends what they were talking about on the walk. They had been arguing about who was the greatest among them. Jesus tells them that if someone wants to be great, he has to serve others. For Jesus and for Christians (people who follow Jesus) being great means thinking of others first. That’s being humble.
- I am humble when…
- I thank God for my gifts and talents. I use them to the best of my ability.
- I am honest about my weaknesses and my mistakes. I say I’m sorry when I am wrong.
- I practice so I can improve my skills and grow my abilities.
- I notice the gifts, talents and successes of others.
- I give others credit for the good things they do.
- I listen to others when they talk.
- I am a good sport when I lose. I congratulate the winner.
HAVE SOME FUN
Golden Acorn Challenge
Materials needed: This PDF of the Golden Acorn Challenge printed (one for each child), a gold crayon or marker (Gold stars would work too)
- Give a Golden Acorn Challenge chart to each child. Read together the ways to be humble that are included on the chart.
- In the next month (or longer), children will try to do those tasks. Every time a humble task is complete, they draw a golden acorn in the box. (Gold stars may be given instead.)
- When all the tasks on the Golden Acorn chart are complete, celebrate in a special way. Some ideas: enjoy a “nut-butter” sandwich, take a nature walk and collect seeds and nuts; make a fall collage of leaves, nuts, and other Autumn materials.
Alternate Activity: Have a Golden Acorn Hunt of your own. One adult hides acorns around the house or classroom. If you don’t live in an area with acorns, you can buy walnuts or almonds with their shells on and hide those. Once the hunt begins, any person who finds a nut yells, “Stop hunting.” All stop. The finder must say one nice thing about someone. Then their acorn “becomes a Golden Acorn” and they can keep it. If they can’t think of something nice to say about anyone, then they have to put the nut back. Then they say, “Hunt,” and the search begins again. After all the nuts have been found, the one with the most is the winner. The winner and the loser should practice humble sportsmanship. The real winner is one who is kindest to others before, during, and after the hunt.
SHARE A PRAYER
You have given me so many gifts and talents.
I am grateful to you for giving me the gift of ___________________.
I am thankful to you for the talent of ______________________.
My friend has the gift of ___________________.
An adult I know has the gift of ____________________.
The things I don’t do so well are part of what makes me special too.
I need to work at ________________ and ________________.
You have given me a mouth to
speak your praise
and to encourage others.
You have given me hands to accomplish good work
and to help others.
Help me to be grateful when I win
and when I lose.
Help me to know
that no matter what happens
you love me
more than anything
in the world.
EXPLORE SOME MORE
Humility gets a bad rap in our current culture. To be humble is considered synonymous with having low-self-esteem, although nothing could be further from the truth. Popular t-shirt logos give a clear picture of the trend: “You can’t spell AWESOME without ME”, or “Girls Can Do Anything.” In general, girl empowerment is a good thing. Our dreams encourage us to become the persons God created us to be. They help us create and build and progress toward a better future. This is true for both girls and boys. And frankly, no girl can do everything. Neither can any boy, woman, or man. We have limitations as well as skills and abilities. We can work hard and try our best, but sometimes we will still fail. Handling our mistakes and failures with grace is humility. Considering the needs of someone else before our own is humility. Giving credit where credit is due and saying sorry for our sins is humility. Listening to someone else’s viewpoint and hearing criticism without defensiveness is humility. Knowing our gifts and talents come from God is humility. Kneeling to pray is humility.
You don’t have to put yourself down to be humble. It has been said, “A humble person doesn’t think less of himself, he simply thinks of himself less.” What a fine lesson that is for our children learn at home, in the classroom, on the playground, and on the sports field. Humility is something to practice over and over again, with each and every win as well as each and every failure.
Mark 9:33-35. This is the story of the apostles talking about who was the greatest.
2 Chronicles 1:1-12. Another great story is the story of King Solomon. He was made king and then God asked him what gift he would like to have. He could have asked for anything, but he asked for the gift of wisdom. Find the story in a children’s Bible.
Word Every Catholic Should Know
humility: the virtue by which a person knows that God is the source of all that is good. A humble person thinks of others before himself. He avoids undue pride and ambition that hurts others.
Talk-it-up (Use this question to spark family conversation this week, perhaps in the car or over dinner.)
Name a gift or strength of someone else. Name a way that you could help someone tomorrow.