International Association
of School Librarianship

Lucky Me, Lucky You! Wishes, luck, and family stories

Every culture has proverbs and traditions regarding good luck and bad luck. People make a wish and hope that it comes true. We see that hard work can overcome bad luck – and that being lazy can undermine the strongest good luck charm.

The GiggleIT Project wants your students to interview family members about good fortune, bad luck, and hard work, then use this inspiration to create poems about lucky things and stories of the balance between good luck and bad luck in these Spotlight Projects:

Time for research: Get your students ready to write by asking them to interview family members to gather sayings and proverbs about good fortune, bad luck and hard work. Relatives from other cultural traditions can provide sayings from their perspective, adding to those proverbs common in your area.

Together, your class should group the sayings into categories like Avoiding Bad Luck, Lucky Objects, Luck Plus Hard Work, Being Lazy Never Pays, and so on. If you want to add Thomas Jefferson’s “I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it” and other proverbs to their lists, check quotation sites like Bartleby’s or QuoteGarden beforehand.

This is a good opportunity for class discussion about the wisdom of waiting on luck versus working hard to overcome an obstacle, such as whether having a lucky object or studying would be a smarter way to prepare for an examination.

Students will then be able use their collected information as inspiration for either or both of the GiggleIT Lucky Me, Lucky You! Spotlight Projects:

Lucky Object Poetry – With the focus of the poem on a selected lucky object, students can describe its effects, tell how the owner acquired it, imagine what the owner might wish for with it, etc. Try different styles, like acrostic poem, shape poem, free verse or limerick (see Genre Samples on the GiggleIT Resources page).

Patterned Storytelling - Students will put those sayings about luck and hard work into the mouths of characters in a story set in your region or country, alternating bad luck situations with good luck, like "Unluckily..." followed by "Luckily..." - in the style of Fortunately, Unfortunately, by Remy Charlip (read aloud here: Hope that hard work will lead to a happy ending!

If culture-specific words are included, students should provide a glossary so that all readers will understand their writing better.

As with any GiggleIT writing, students may write individually, in small groups, or as an entire class. Original illustrations by class members can also be included with any GiggleIT writing.

Please be sure that students only use their initials to sign their work, whether you are publishing online or locally – privacy and safety first!

As a collaborative Project between educators and students around the world, the GiggleIT Project operates under a Creative Commons license which allows everyone to share ideas and resources while still recognizing the work done by the original authors.

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