All The World teaches Be Content and Be Grateful
Book Units
1 Ratings
Add to Favorite  

All The World teaches Be Content and Be Grateful

Categories Be Content  , Be Grateful 
Book Title: All the World

Author: Liz Garton Scanlon

Illustrator: Marla Frazee

Jewish Value: Be Content,Be Grateful

Book Summary:

All the world is here.

It is there.

It is everywhere.

All the world is right where you are.


Following a circle of family and friends through the course of a day from morning till night, this book affirms the importance of all things great and small in our world, from the tiniest shell on the beach, to warm family connections, to the widest sunset sky

Topic(s) Addressed:

A warm story of family and friends highlights the importance of contentment and gratitude. Creative thinking and group discussions will support the children s exploration of these values.

Enduring Understandings:

  • We are all part of a larger world.
  • We can find wonder in things both great and small in our world.
  • Happiness can come from appreciating what we have in our world.

Be Inspired:The ideas included are offered as starting points as you and your students explore, discover and live the lessons. Be sure to elicit and encourage student and parent participation, consistently reinforcing the value being addressed. Allow lessons to authentically develop and change based on engagement and interests.

Lesson Plan Components

For the educatorJewish Thought, Text, and Traditionsmore

Ben Zoma said, “Who is wise?  The one who learns from everyone!  Who is mighty?  The one who rules over themselves!  Who is rich?  The one who is happy with what they’ve got!  Who is honored?  The one who shows honor to others!” -Pirke Avot 4:1

Ben Zoma’s advice reinforces the idea that this world is NOT as it seems.  Sometimes the world seems like a confusing, messy place.  Sometimes the world seems like it makes no sense.  Sometimes it seems as if the world is filled with pain, sadness, or ugliness.  But, as ben Zoma hints, this is only a matter of perception.  If we choose to approach life and the world differently, it can be what we want it to be.  The world can be what we make it to be.

If we wish to learn and grow wiser, we can.  If we want to be mighty, we already are; we need only exercise the power that is already at hand.  Wealth?  That comes in recognizing the difference between needs and wants.  And honor?  We get what we give.  So much of life comes down to the choices that we make, and the way in which we choose to measure success and failure.

“Just to be is a blessing. Just to live is holy.”  -Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

Questions for Reflection

1. What in your life can make you feel wealthy?
2. What types of things do we learn from others to help us be wise?
3. What power do we personally have at hand that makes us mighty?
4. How can you show contentment and incorporate this value in the classroom?

Jewish every dayIncorporate Jewish Valuesmore

At morning meetings, invite students to share a new thing each day that makes them feel happy.  You can use the tune “Grateful” as an opening song (see Music section, Track # 3 from Good Choices, Volume 2) in which each student will have a moment to share something they appreciate in the world.
When possible, during your end-of-day routine, play the song “Beauty of the World” by Sababa, allowing students to blow bubbles and sing along.  To access this song, visit .

Materials and resourcesmore


  • Copy of All the World 
  • After the Story: original All the World book, chart paper, markers, crayons


Sharing The Storymore

Introducing The story

For strategies for teaching vocabulary, see Appendix, Vocabulary Strategies. 

Build background knowledge by asking the students to brainstorm a list of things they do with their friends and family on weekends when they’re not in school.  Record their answers on chart paper.  Ask the students how these activities make them feel. 

Take a Picture Walk. Tell the students that we are going to read a book about the happy times a family and their friends experience throughout the course of a day, from morning until night.  Show the cover of All the World, pointing out the title, author, and illustrator.  Ask the students where the children on the book cover are going and have them share their own beach stories.  Flip through the pages and ask what’s happening in the story.  Ask the students to look for things in the book that make them feel happy.

The book contains vocabulary that might be new for the students.  Guide them in using either text or picture clues to decipher meanings.  For example, from the text, look at pebble and hum.  From the illustrations, interpret the meanings of moat, hive, husk, cob, stumble, kin, and harp.

Reading The Story

Read the story aloud, stopping when appropriate to explore illustrations, address comments, clarify, predict, and guide students’ understanding of the story and the values to be contentsame’ach b’chelko and to be gratefulhakarat hatov.   

Ask the following questions:
  • What are the children building at the beach?  What does the girl find?
  • Explain that some words may have multiple meanings.  What does bed mean in the story?  What does crown mean?
  • How is a farmer’s market different from a supermarket?  How are they similar?
  • Where would you go if you could fly like a bird?
  • What do you like to do on rainy days?
  • Look at the illustration of the girl next to the words “Hungry tummy, supper’s soon.”  How do you think she feels?  Why?
  • Look at the picture of the people listening to or making music.  What musical instruments do you see in the picture?  Who looks like they’re having the most fun?  If this were your family gathering, which person would you be in the picture? Why?

After The Story

Give the students time to share personal connections they made with the story.  What things in the world give them a feeling of happiness or peace? What things in the world make them feel grateful?

Guide the students in creating their own pages that could fit into All the World.  Do the first page together as a class.  Begin by having the students brainstorm places that make them feel happy.  By a class vote, select one specific place.  Then make a list of all the things they might see and do there.  Next, choose several words or phrases and fit them together in a rhyming sentence ending with “All the world’s …”  Write the class sentence on large chart paper.  Ask the students what illustrations should go along with the sentence and allow them to take turns adding an illustration to the page.  Finally, work with the students one-on-one and help them repeat the process to create pages of their own.  The pages may be displayed individually or bound together as a class book.

Conclude by showing the music video “If You’re Happy and You Know It!,” sung by Susan Reed, from the book and CD adapted by Anna McQuinn, illustrated by Sophie Fatus:  In this multicultural version of the traditional song, children from cultures all over the world clap their hands, stomp their feet, pat their heads, and much more.  Have the students sing and dance along. 


Explore, Discover, and More Extension and Reinforcement Activitiesmore

Story Animation 
View one or both of the following and ask students to share their favorite “moment.”
the DVD of All the World, narrated by Joanne Woodward, wherein the book’s original illustrations are brought to life through animation
All the World put to the music of Darryl Van Horne:

Rhyme Time 
Literacy, Listening
Review rhyming by reading and discussing some of the rhyming words in the book. Supply the listening center with All the World audio, along with a copy of the book so that the children may read along and encourage them to listen for words that rhyme. After listening, challenge students to come up with their own pairs of rhyming words. As appropriate, expand this activity. For example, guide students as they use the rhyme pairs they suggested at the end of sentences to form couplets.

Feed the Birds
Science, Nature 
Read the words from All the World “Nest, bird, feather, fly… All the world has got its sky,” and discuss that living organisms depend on their environments. Follow up by making bird feeders. Mix one part oatmeal and one part shortening and spread on pinecones. Roll the pinecones in birdseed and hang from a tree.

Sand Castle Center 
Sensory Play, Math 
Set up a sand castle building center with moist sand, shells, and containers of various shapes. As the students build castles and moats, help them to identify the shapes being used.

Wonder-Full World of Nature
Foster the students’ feelings of wonder at the beauty around them and their connection with the world at large through a multi-disciplinary nature experience. During this experience, encourage students to describe their feelings as they encounter amazing things.
• Take the students on an outdoor nature walk and ask them to collect objects that they find beautiful. Interact with the students as they collect their objects. Make comments and ask questions about the qualities of their found materials. For example, discuss shapes, colors, textures, smells, and what the students think of when they look at the objects.
• Upon returning to the classroom, have the students sit in a circle. Combine all the collected materials and place them in the center. Ask the students what they see, looking for similarities and differences in the items. Help the students form categories for sorting the materials (for example, by size, color, shape, texture, etc.). Have them sort the collected objects into piles and make a label describing each category. The labeled materials may then be displayed in the science center.
• Next, have each student choose one nature object that they find the most beautiful and ask them to make an observational drawing of the item. Have the students invent names for their objects (for example, Feather Franny, Lou the Leaf, Tinkerbell, etc.) and write their words on their drawing paper.
• Finally, let the students use the collected materials to create art collages or sculptures. Record the students’ descriptions about their creations.

Music Connectionsmore

List of All Songs

You Get What You Get
by Miss  Emily Aronoff Teck

Inspiration Text

“It is good to give thanks to G-d and sing praises.” -Psalm 92


Ask students to think about all the things, people, and places in their lives that make them happy.  When we feel thankful for what makes us happy, that is called being “grateful.”

Teach the students the chorus of the song “Grateful”:  “I’m so full of thank “yous,” I feel great! I feel great, I feel grateful!” and incorporate the practice of “looking for thank yous (or phrase it “counting our blessings”) when students need cheering up.

In this tune, each student takes a turn completing a line.  When you sing it in your community, add lines to the pre-chorus so that more people can participate in suggesting reasons to say thank you. This tunes lends itself easily to presentations. See example at


If I’m feeling mad or sad,
I know there’s a cure.
Make a list of “thank yous.”
I’ll feel better for sure.
G-d made all creation,
Said this is very good.
So, let’s share appreciation,
Like we know we should.


I’ll say thank you for _____________. 
Say thank you for _______________.
I’ll say thank you for _____________.
Say thank you for _______________.

I’m so full of thank yous, I feel great!
I feel great, I feel grateful!
I’m so full of thank yous, I feel great!
I feel great, I feel grateful!

Celebrate “thanks-giving” every day,
Every moment to spare.
You’ll find reasons to share a smile,
When thank yous we share.
More than using manners,
Bigger than being polite,
Living a truly grateful way
Will help you sleep at night.




Additional Music Connections

Evidence of Learningmore

Observation of students responding to stories and poems in discussion, in writing, and through movement, music, art, and drama in ways that reflect personal understanding and interpretation of the value same’ach b’chelko


Happy Class Book

Encourage parents and children to share happy times by contributing to a class “same’ach b’chelko” (“be happy with what you have”) book.  Send home a sheet of cardstock with each student, along with a note explaining that the students are exploring the Jewish value same’ach b’chelko in class.  Tell the parents that you are making a class book on the theme and would like them to participate in the project by working with their child at home.  Ask parents to discuss with their child what brings their family happiness and then, together with their child, make a collage on the cardstock depicting those places, events, or activities.  They may use photos, magazine clippings, stickers, drawings, etc., as well as words and phrases to express themselves.  When the collages are returned, slip them into plastic page protectors and bind them in a three-ring notebook.  Add a same’ach b’chelko cover and display the book for the students to read in the classroom.

literature connectionsmore

TitleAuthorIllustratorBook Summary
The Relatives Came Cynthia RylantStephen GammellThis book is full of the warmth that can be found in a close and loving family. A big crowd piled into an old station wagon and came up from Virginia to visit their relatives one summer. When they arrived there was so much hugging that “you’d have to go through at least four different hugs to get from the kitchen to the front room."
Whoever You Are Mem FoxLeslie StaubComposed of simple text and colorful, stylistic illustrations, this lovely book takes us around the world in celebration of the common humanity that connects us all. Its message to young children is that while “their skin may be different … their schools may be different … their lands may be different …,” inside we are all the same.
Let The Whole Earth Sing Praise Tomie dePaola Inspired by biblical scripture and the folk art of theO tomi people of Puebla, Mexico, this small picture book praises the goodness and beauty of G-d’s creation. Through song-like verse and a tropical-hues collage, it extols the joy to be found everywhere you look—from land, sea, and sky to all of humanity
The Apple Tree’s Discovery* Peninnah Schram and Rachayl Eckstein DavisWendy W. LeeA little apple tree in a forest of oaks begs G-d for stars like those glimmering on the branches of the great oak trees beside her. As the seasons pass, she learns to appreciate her own gifts and realizes that it’s possible to find a star in each of us.
It Could Always Be Worse* Margot ZemachMargot ZemachOnce upon a time, a poor unfortunate man lived with his mother, his wife, and his six children in a one-room hut. Because they were so crowded, the children often fought and the man and his wife argued. He ran to the Rabbi for help. As he follows the rabbi’s unlikely advice, the poor man’s life goes from bad to worse, with increasingly uproarious results. In his little hut, silly calamity follows foolish catastrophe, all memorably depicted in full-color illustrations that are both funnier and lovelier than any this distinguished artist has done in the past.
* PJ library Books
Lesson Contributors

Raleigh Hahn
Temple Beth Am, Jupiter, Florida