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Read The Can Man to Teach Compassion

February 27, 2011

The Can Man
written by Laura E. Williams, illustrated by Craig Orback
Lee and Low, 2010
picture book

Tim is a young boy who more than anything wants a skateboard. His parents can’t afford to buy him one so Tim decides to get the money himself. He watches the “Can Man,” a man who used to live in his building, and who his parents still call by his real name, Mr. Peters.

Using what he learns from Mr. Peters, Tim beats him to the trash cans one week, collects cans all week, and hopes to make enough money to buy a skateboard.

On his way to the redemption center, Tim sees the Can Man with an empty cart. Tim has seven bags so the Can Man offers his empty cart for Tim’s bags.

As Tim redeems the cans for money, he sees the Can Man walk away. He suddenly realizes what he’s done . . . taken away Mr. Peter’s only income.

You’ll be impressed at what both Tim and Mr. Peters do. It’s a heartwarming ending that you’ll remember every time you see a homeless person.

Book Play: Talk about what it means to have a home. Discuss what it means to not have a home and the reasons. When you see a homeless person, talk about how your family might be able to help – with food or clothes. Build a home out of sticks or other materials. Click HERE for more resources to teach children about homelessness.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. February 28, 2011 5:12 am

    I’ve wanted to check this book out. Thanks for sharing Melissa. Great lessons for kids here!

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