Magic Tree House
Junie B. Jones
A terrible thing happened to Junie B. Jones! Someone took her new black furry mittens! And they kept them and didn’t even put them in the Lost and Found at school! So when Junie B. finds a wonderful pen on the floor, she should be allowed to keep it, too. Right?
Words and their meanings are discussed with a lesson in the difference between literal and figurative language as well as the definitions of two important words finding and stealing.
|Barbara Park says…
“Finders keepers, losers weepers . . .”
I used to love that poem when I was little. Whenever I would find a ‘treasure’ in the street, I would pick it up — happily sing finders keepers, losers weepers — and carry it right home. Then came the day that I accidentally left my brand-new red shoes in the girl’s bathroom at school. By the time I ran back for them, they were already gone. Now someone else was singing Finders keepers, losers weepers. And suddenly, I didn’t like that stupid poem at all! I still don’t! (And by the end of this book, neither does Junie B. Jones!”
© 1996 by Barbara Park
Does your class or school have a “Lost and Found Box”? If you do, discuss with your students why it is important for them to have a place to bring found items and make sure they know where it is. If not, decide on where such a box can be kept and make one for your class or school.
Junie B.’s search for her “stolen” furry mittens brings her up against the fine line that sometimes distinguishes “finding” and “stealing.” Define these words with students, highlighting how they are different. With these terms in mind, ask students to reflect on the scenes in which Junie found the nickel in the street, the teddy backpack in the Lost and Found, and the multi-colored pen by the water fountain. Discuss also the actions of the person who found Grandpa Miller’s wallet and the Pink Fluffy Girl who kept Junie’s mittens.
Present students with a variety of “lost object” scenarios, further illustrating the difference between “finding” or “stealing.” For example, “You find a dollar buried in the beach sand while building a sand castle and you decide to keep it; and You see a dollar fall out of a women’s purse on the bus and you decide to keep it.” Older students may be asked to write a short story about a “lost or found” situation, describing what they lost/found, what they did, why they did it and whether or not they would still do the same.