K1 Activity 2 – Why The Smile Makes Sense

Core Freedom: Perceive In Our Own Way


Great thinkers like Albert Einstein have talked about the importance of imagination in the process of acquiring knowledge. Happily, most students at this stage of development are enamored with creative imagery and thinking. This allows them to even imagine a “smile in the sky.”


Students listen to the Smile In The Sky song and lyrics and wonder about the environment around them and create art to reflect what they perceive or think about the sky.

Principle Overview

The 8 Core Freedoms of IM4U are the hallmarks of who we are as individuals and members of a group. In a way, they are our “Bill of Rights.” As individuals, we are free to be ourselves, to perceive in our own way, to feel our feelings, to think our thoughts, to make our own decisions, to communicate as we do, to take action, and to interact with others in our own unique way. The different elements of the IM4U Program are designed to teach students the conscious application of freedoms for the benefit of all.


Goals and Objectives:

  • Recognize the perspectives of others through lyrical interpretation and imaginative thought.
  • Connect the lyrics of a song to their perceptions of the world around them.
  • Be sure to introduce The 8 Core Freedoms before using this activity. See Promoting the Principle for a suggested way to introduce the Core Freedoms.
  • This is a great activity to integrate into science and ELA. Have students write or dictate their ideas on their art creation. Use their art creations as the start of group storytelling.
  • You might provide a variety of paints, such as finger, watercolors, and tempera, to give students the opportunity of choice.
  • Note the diversity of choices during student sharing.
  • Of The 8 Core Freedoms, this activity focuses on The Freedom To Perceive In Our Own Way.
The skill builder You, Me, And We helps students notice that friendship is built on similarities and differences. Embracing others’ similarities and differences allows everyone to feel connected as friends. As students collaborate and use kind words (Respect- SEL Concept) they notice something different about one another (Diversity-SEL Concept). This allows students to experience more diverse perspectives and adds to their understanding of community. Students can begin to appreciate the qualities that make each of us special and how working together can benefit all.

  • During your conversation about the lyrics and science, be sure to help students notice that we all notice and wonder about different things in different ways. We can learn even more because we are so diverse. Point out that it is exciting to listen to everyone, and let them know that you appreciate their ideas and questions!
Skill Builder
Use these visual resources to enhance the student experience in this unit.

View In Resources

Activity Steps

  • Connector.

    Watch the Smile In The Sky music video together. Encourage students to add hand movements as they sing along.

  • Connector.

    Encourage the students to look at the chorus of the song:

    There’s a smile in the sky
    From the sun all day
    And the moon at night
    They’re winkin’ at you as they go by
    There’s a smile in the sky

  • Connector.

    Start a conversation about the lyrics with these questions:

    Why do you think Uncle Jim says there is a “smile in the sky, from the sun all day and the moon at night”? Is he right? What do you think he is talking about? Be open to students’ creative and scientific answers.

  • Connector.

    Then ask questions that are more scientific in nature:

    What would happen if there was no sun?
    What would happen if there was too much sun?
    What would be the effect on people?
    What would be the effect on plants?
    What would be the effect on animals?
    How does the sun affect our food?

  • Connector.

    What does the smile in the sky look like to you? Provide students with art materials and ask them to paint the sky while listening to the Smile In The Sky song.

  • Connector.

    Have students share something about their paintings in class discussion. Give them time to observe how different the paintings turned out from one another and notice how everyone had the freedom to perceive! Feel free to use The 8 Core Freedoms poster as a reference here.

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