Social-Emotional Learning with Gustavo the Shy Ghost

Have you read Gustavo the Shy Ghost yet? This is SUCH a sweet book by Flavia Z. Drago. Gustavo is a shy ghost who tries so hard to make friends and get the other monsters to notice him. He does all type of silly things to get them to “see” him, but nothing works. He finally decides to have a violin concert, and sends out invitations to the other monsters. Gustavo “glows” when he plays the violin, and he keeps playing even though he thinks no one is coming to his show. Eventually, the other monsters show up and explained they were late because they got lost. Gustavo’s light helped them find the concert, and he finally has a group of friends to spend his time with. The book ends by sharing all the special ways Gustavo helps and supports his friends.

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I created a unit full of activities for using this book in your classroom or for homeschool lessons. I shared many of the comprehension activities I included on this blog post. Today, I wanted to share the social-emotional lessons and activities I paired with this book. Each of these activities is included in my Gustavo Activity Pack on TPT.

How To Make Friends

Many of our studnets need direct instruction on how to make friends and meet new people. Like Gustavo, they might find themselves on the playground trying to interact with other kids, but leave feeling ignored and left out. Often, they just don’t know HOW to interact with a new friend. In the story, Gustavo thinks the other monsters are ignoring him. But they really just don’t see him, because he is hiding. I included all of the pieces to make an anchor chart with your class of things to say to make a new friend.

I included pre-typed speech bubbles, but I would encourage you to let students come up with their own responses. After working together, they can draw and write about it. I also included a “Friendship Survey” for them to tell about how they like to make friends.

I also included a cut and paste sheet for them to label the ghosts’ feelings.

My Special Talent

In the book, Gustavo is a talented violin player, and he puts on a concert for the other monsters. I love this book for helping students’ think about what makes them unique, and what things they are good at. Many of your studnets might say they don’t have a talent, so you might want to spend some time brainstorming as a class. I encourage you to focus on things like at talents that ANYONE could have, even if they aren’t enrolled in special lessons or on an outside team. Some examples include:

  • I can make anyone laugh
  • I can run really fast
  • I will help anyone who needs it
  • I love to sing
  • I’m great at keeping things organized and clean
  • I’m really good at making sandwiches

What Makes You Glow?

Finally, students can tell all about what makes them “glow.” In the book, when Gustavo plays his violin, he glows and lights up the dark night. The monsters are able to find him, because of his glow. I included the instructions to add this “glow” effect to their photos in Powerpoint.

As you can see, there are so many ways to extend the learning with Gustavo! I highly recommend adding this to your classroom or home library! Don’t forget, you can get all of these activities in my TPT store.

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