Should I Share My Ice Cream? teaches to Be Generous
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Should I Share My Ice Cream? teaches to Be Generous

Categories Be Generous 
Book Title: Should I Share My Ice Cream?

Author: Mo Williams

Illustrator: Mo Williams

Jewish Value: Be Generous

Book Summary:

Gerald loves ice cream. When he buys a cone of his favorite flavor, he thinks about sharing it with his best friend, Piggie, who is not with him. However, by the time he goes through the mental turmoil of whether or not to share, the ice cream cone has melted. Gerald is devastated because the ice cream is gone, and so is the opportunity to share it with Piggie. Then Piggie arrives with her own ice cream cone, sees that Gerald is sad, and immediately shares with him

Enduring Understandings:

  • Generosity helps people be happy and can make a difference in people’s lives. 
  • Sharing is a type of generosity that shows that you care.

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

The idea of nedivut, or being generous, is found throughout our entire tradition, especially in regard to the bringing of gifts. This notion of generosity through gifts is first found in Exodus 25, when G-d asks Moses to tell the Israelite people to bring gifts from all whose hearts move them. In other words, the people were to bring voluntary gifts and only give what they could. From these gifts, the people built a mishkan—a dwelling place—for G-d. What we learn from this story in the Torah is that when we all act with generosity and offer what we are able, G-d will be among us. Furthermore, nevidut should not be understood as an obligation within our tradition, but a virtue motivated out of our desire to be virtuous. It is important to note that tzedakah—righteousness and charity and g’milut chasidim—to act with loving kindness are values that frequently are misunderstood as the value of nedivut. Both tzedakah and g’milut chasidim refer to more of a deed and action, while nedivut refers to more of an attitude. We learn from Pirke Avot 5:15 that “those who want to give and want others to give, they are saintly people.” With the right mindset and with our hearts in the right places, we can show our generosity and inspire others to do so as well.

Questions for Reflection

  1. Do you think that becoming a generous person is something you have to train yourself to do? 
  2. What type of mindset do you need to have to be generous? 
  3. What can you do to model this value personally and within the classroom?

Jewish every dayIncorporate Jewish Valuesmore

Be aware of opportunities for students to share and acknowledge how it may be difficult, but encourage them to do so, regardless. Also, be a role model. For example, when someone joins the play dough table, say, “Who will share their play dough?” Acknowledge the fact that a child acted in a generous manner by sharing. (There is usually someone who steps up, and if not, model it yourself.) Ask the giver and recipient how it felt to share.

Materials and resourcesmore


  • Copy of Should I Share My Ice Cream?
  • Introducing the Story: Small toys such as blocks, Legos, plastic fi gures, etc., enough for each student to have a small handful 
  • Stuffed toy elephant, wearing a pair of glasses (to play the role of Gerald)


Sharing The Storymore

Introducing The story

Distribute a handful of small toys to each student, but “run out” of them so that a few students don’t get any. Apologize profusely for not having enough toys for everyone and then say, “I wonder what we can do about this?” Ideally, some students will offer to share their toys. If not, encourage them. Give students an opportunity to play with their toys. Collect the toys and get students together for reading time.

Discuss how it felt when they shared and when someone shared with them. Explain that when someone shares something of his or hers with someone else, he or she is showing the Jewish value nedivot—to be generous.

Show the cover of the book and introduce the main character, an elephant named Gerald. Say, “I wonder what Gerald might be thinking about as he looks at the ice cream. What do you think?” Read the title of the book, Should I Share My Ice Cream? and again ask what they think Gerald may be wondering about.

Ask, “How many of you LOVE ice cream?” Explain that Gerald and his friend Piggie LOVE ice cream, too. Say, “Let’s find out when happens when Gerald gets his favorite flavor of ice cream.”

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 value to be generous—nedivut.

As you read the story, pause after it says, “Should I share my awesome, yummy, sweet, super, great, tasty, nice, cool ice cream?” and ask, “Do you think Gerald should share his ice cream? Why or why not?” Take a class vote. Ask, “Who thinks Gerald WILL share?”

After The Story

Guide students in discussing the story, especially as it relates to the value to be generous—nedivot. Ask some or all of the following questions:

  • Did Gerald decide to share his ice cream? What happened to it? Why? (He took too long to decide, so it melted.) 
  • Why was Gerald sad? (While he was deciding to share, his ice cream melted.) 
  • What happened when Piggie came with her ice-cream cone? (She saw that Gerald was sad and shared her ice cream.) 
  • When Piggie shared her ice cream, how did that make each of them feel? (Theywere both happy.) 
  • When someone shares something he or she has with someone who may need or like it too, we say that that person is generous. Was Gerald generous? Did he want to be? Was Piggie generous? 

Involve students in creating a “How-to Book” or “How-to Video” to teach Gerald how to be generous. (Or create both, scanning pages of their book to create a video montage.) Have each student draw a picture and write or dictate about a time they shared something.

  • Give each group of students only a limited supply of craft items to decorate their pages so that they have to share. 
  • Either bind pages together (to make a book) or scan the images into a program that will allow you to make a slideshow (to make a video). 
  • Have students suggest the title for the book and vote on one they like best. 
  • If you are making a video, record a narration of the instructions to pair with the images. 
  • When the class project is completed, have students share it with “Gerald” (put glasses on a stuffed toy elephant and pretend it’s Gerald) and then “read” the book or “show” the video to him.


Explore, Discover, and More Extension and Reinforcement Activitiesmore

“It’s Mine!” Drama
Role-play with two puppets who want to use the same toy. In the dialogue, have one puppet emphasize how much they LOVE the toy and don’t want to give it up. Stop the role-play to see if the students can solve the problem.

Toy Share Community Building
Have a “Block Party” with another classroom. Each student brings a favorite toy to share with another student or small group of students. Remind them that sharing is a form of generosity. Discuss the following questions: How does it make you feel to share? How does it make you feel when others share their toys with you?

“Bleezer’s Ice Cream” Literacy
Share several stanzas (as appropriate) from the poem “Bleezer’s Ice Cream,” by Jack Prelutsky. A great example of word play, the poem tells about the twentyeight divine creations of ice cream found at Bleezer’s Ice Cream Store, flavors such as, Cocoa Mocha Macaroni, Tapioca smoked baloney. Mocha Macaroni, Tapioca smoked baloney: If you would like to play the video of the poem in its entirety, visit

  • What fun ice cream flavors can your students suggest? 
  • List their original flavor names to create two or three new flavors of ice cream. 
  • Elicit parents’ help in making these new flavors of ice cream in class. 
  • Invite students from other classes to their ice-cream party. 
  • As students enjoy the ice cream, reinforce the value to be generous. 
Sharing Scoops Bulletin Board
In honor of Gerald and Piggie’s generosity, mount a paper cone on the bottom of the bulletin board. Precut “ice-cream scoops,” made out of colored paper, representing a variety of flavors. Every time you witness a student sharing or being generous, let them add a “scoop” to the “ice-cream cone.” When the scoops reach the top of the bulletin board, have an ice-cream party to thank them for their generosity, even though “generosity is its own reward.”

Building “Castles” in the Sand Fine Motor , Cooperation
Demonstrate that sharing also means taking turns and waiting for your turn. Divide students into pairs. Give each pair several plastic containers and one shovel. Working at the wet sand table or at the sand box, each pair must take turns using the shovel to fill a container to help build their “team’s” structure. Involve students in a discussion of the importance of sharing to accomplish the task.

Music Connectionsmore

List of All Songs

Sharing Is Caring

by Miss Emily Aronoff Teck

Inspiration Text

“Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow; but woe to him that is alone when he falls, for he has not another to help him up.” -Ecclesiastes 4:9-10


Use the chorus of this song throughout the day to praise and encourage opportunities for students’ sharing.


Sharing is caring
So let’s start sharing
My world needs some repairing
So I’ll be sharing and caring today

Let’s share a smile, feel friendly for a while
Let’s share a wave hello, smiles start to grow


Let’s share a hug, feel warm and snug
Let’s share a kiss we blow, let your love show


Let’s share my high five, feels good to be alive
I’ll share this song out loud, feel nice and proud


Additional Music Connections

Evidence of Learningmore

Students demonstrate generosity and a willingness to share toys, materials, etc., in the classroom, on the playground, and during other interactions around the school.

The students’ books or videos on sharing reflects their understanding of generosity and tzedakah.


Toy and Book Drive
Ask parents to have children bring a toy and / or book from home to donate to other children. Explain to the children and the parents that the toys will be given to a child who doesn’t have access to toys and books in the same way as they. Support the children’s understanding that they are giving away their toys and encourage generosity. Research which community agencies are looking for these types of donations and share with your students and families where the toys will be going.

Parenting Tip
Suggest to parents that they encourage generosity by encouraging children to donate one of their birthday presents to a worthy cause. Alternatively, children can give gifts one night of Chanukah instead of receiving them.

literature connectionsmore

TitleAuthorIllustratorBook Summary
The Boy Who Wouldn’t Share Mike ReissDavid CatrowThis poetic and humorous tale is about Edward, who wouldn’t share anything with his sister, Claire. However, when Edward ends up buried under his toys, Claire teaches him about sharing and forgiveness.
Too Many Mangos Tammy PaikaiDon RobinsonDuring a visit to their grandpa’s house, Kama and his sister Nani share mangos from his tree with all the neighbors, who each have something for them in return.
Mine, Mine, Mine Shelly BeckerHideko TakahashiGail is a little girl whose favorite words are “Mine, mine, mine!” She doesn’t like to share. She tries to follow her mother’s example of generosity, but still has problems sharing.
My Most Favorite Thing Nicola MoonCarol ThompsonGrandpa’s beloved dog must stay at the vet. Katie, his little granddaughter, knows how lonely and sad her grandpa is without his dog. She gives him her stuffed bunny, Rabbit, to keep him company.
Giving Shirley Hughes The concept of giving and the concept of receiving are addressed with wry humor.
The Chanukkah Guest* Eric KimmelGiori CarmiAlthough Bubba Brayna is almost blind and deaf, she makes the best potato latkes in the village. On the first night of Chanukkah, she cooks a special batch for the rabbi, who is coming to visit her. When she hears a thumping at the door, she lets in her guest. Only later does she realize she has served a bear her delicious latkes.
* PJ library Books
Lesson Contributors

Barbara Bernstein Temple Beth Am Preschool, Miami, Florida