Have A Ball!

Alas, the recession has hit recess, and at our school, that means that we haven’t been able to re-supply our equipment buckets in a very long time. We did, however, have a little extra character cash, so we recently purchased three bouncy Baden kickballs for the playground. In yesterday morning’s community gathering, our Assistant Principal showed the brand-new balls and offered up a fun challenge to our school family: Write a letter about which pillar of character you’d have to show to get one of the balls and explain why your class deserves one of them. 

Here are some intriguing examples of the third-graders’ campaign promises:

I think the recess ball would be a great add-on to our class.  It will teach us to be fair because we will share it with others. I also think it will teach us responsibility because we will be responsible by not throwing it over the fence and if we do we will tell an adult.  We will respect it by not popping them or losing them.  I think you can trust us with the ball because we will remember the promise we made to be responsible, trustworthy, fair, and respectful.

She's convincing, right?  Read this one from a girl who stirs in a concrete example of her class' previous experience with recess equipment AND, in a clever twist, slips in a bid for her switch class:

I think my class would be the best class to receive a recess ball from you because me and my friends collect balls or other toys when we hear some teachers blow their whistles.  We also do that when our class lines up.  I always respect the toys. I also want you to give a ball to Mrs. H’s class too.

I got a kick out of this one because he starts with a reflection:

I thought about your speech in the morning and I think the pillar is responsibility.  I think that our class deserves one recess ball. We promise that we will take care of the recess ball and not treat it roughly or pop it or throw it over the fence.

This girl connected her reasons back to the Golden Rule and expressed gratitude up front: 

I think our class would love a kickball and that it would be very fun for all of us and if we had the ball we would take SUPER good care of it!  We would share and treat the ball with the same respect as I treat my classmates so if you gave us the ball we would be very thankful.

How could you refuse this one that begins with a cute compliment and ends with a precious plea?

I love the idea about the recess ball. I think our class would be trustworthy by not throwing the balls over the fence or popping them by sitting on them. We would not leave the balls outside and we will always share. I know there are only three balls and a lot of classes, but I hope you choose us.

If this one was written by a future politician, I think we’ll be in good hands:

Our class really shows responsibility and even respect.  Our class would LOVE the ball.  Please give our class the ball.  Besides, remember that our teacher gives hugs and isn’t she so so so sweet?  I promise, promise that our class would be caring for the ball!  p.s.  I love you!!!!!

p.s. I love you?  Throwing some sugar on the top of your request is SO smart! Now check out this persuasive paragraph:

I know if someone gave someone a present or a gift, they wouldn’t want someone to treat it like a piece of trash. Nobody would want that! It’s clear you want a class that will show respect, responsibility, and fairness. Everybody wants to have trust in whoever they give anything to and that Is why I think my class is a good class to receive one of those balls.  You can trust us to care for that ball and respect it. We will show responsibility for that ball by making sure it is always in our recess bucket and never leaving it outside. Our class would appreciate it if we owned that ball. You will not regret giving us that recess ball.

Write On! I can’t wait to read the other submissions. Next Wednesday, we’ll announce where the three balls will end up. Which student do you think scored a ball and why? What would your students promise so that your class could have one of the extra balls?


  1. Hi Barbara:

    I just copied this post to send to my principal. You amaze me!

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

  2. Oh my - how are you ever going to choose??? This is simply fantastic ... makes me want to go out tonight (even in this snowstorm) and buy a few balls for the school just so we can do this activity. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!!!

    Runde's Room

  3. Seriously! Thanks Kim and Jen.

    A few came in this morning that were SO adorable that I totally want to go buy a few more myself. It takes initiative to go home and write a persuasive paragraph - and two of them came from kindies!!!


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