Juna’s Jar (grade k-1)


THE INTENT: Objects can reveal more  about a person or a place.


DESCRIPTION: Students will explore storytelling through objects and imagination.


OBJECTIVES: Students will:

– Learn more about the objects that we have in our lives and explore the reasons why we have them.

– Look at the stories and memories behind objects.

– Build literacy through storytelling.

– Develop art to connect the concept to each student’s individual experiences.

– Understand that all of us have important stories to share.



– What do objects tell us about a person?


TIME FRAME: 1 class period



– Book (Juna’s Jar)

– Clear Plastic Cups

– Double-sided foam tape (optional)

– Masking tape

– Paper and marking materials (crayons, markers, color pencils, etc)



Abuelita (ah-BWEH-lee-tah): Grandma

Hola (OH-la): Hello

Kimchi (KIM-chee): staple korean side dish typically made of cabbage that is salted, seasoned and fermented.

Oppa (OH-pah): Older brother (of a girl)




–  Read Juna’s Jar to become familiar with the story. Write down any words in the book to add to the Vocabulary.

– The lesson will be about objects that we have in our lives. To build rapport with students, teachers are encouraged to bring to class things that they have – things that are interesting, important and have a good story – as part of show and tell.

– For this lesson, collect clear plastic cups for students to use. We will call them “jars” for this lesson.

– For the lesson the next day, encourage students to bring in two small items from home, inspired by the idea of a collection. For an example of size, bring out the clear plastic cups that they will be using and give some demonstrations on objects and size.

– Each object can be anything – maybe it is something from their at home, or it could be an object they found around their house. It could also be something that they picked up on the way to school. It could be anything – just as long as the student finds it interesting. Encourage them to only bring in two items.

– Scope out an area on the school campus where you would be able to do a short scavenger hunt to collect items on the day of the lesson.



– Ask students to try and define “collection”. Collections can be big or can be small, and can come in many different shapes and sizes. For this part, teachers will bring out things that they have collected. If possible, pass around the objects to have students look at and share stories and memories behind the objects. Collect objects at the end of sharing and place it on the teachers desk for students to see.

– Ask students if they or their family members collect things at home or have things that they value. Instruct students to share with the student next to them what they or their family collects. Encourage a few students to share their story in front of class.

– Some questions to have student think about:

o   What are some things people collect?

o   Why do people collect things?

o   How do they store their collection?

o   How big is the collection?

o   How much space does it take up?

o   When did you or your family member first start collecting?

o   Do they have a favorite piece from their collection? Why?



– Prepare students for the next portion of the activity, which is reading Juna’s Jar by Jane Bahk. Have students sit in a circle (or as best a circle that you can get) on the ground.

– During the story, ask students questions about what they see in the book or what is happening whenever Juna dreams.

– After the story, have students head back to their desk and ask them what they liked about the story.

– Check in with students to see if they had brought with them their items. For those who weren’t able to bring anything, tell students that they will be going on a scavenger hunt around the school (or playground) to search for items. Give students their “jars” before heading out.

  • For students who brought items from home, encourage them to find one thing on this scavenger hunt.
  • For the students who weren’t able to bring in items from home, encourage them to collect three things from the hunt. Instruct students to make sure the object fits into their “jars” and to be aware of their surroundings as they explore.

– After heading back to class, have student place their “jars” on the desk and have them share with the student next to them what they had brought or found. After a few minutes, select a few students to share with the class what they had brought and why they chose those particular things. Teachers should also ask students if there are any similar items that students had collected. If there are, have students share their reasons to choosing that objects. This, then, would help bridge connections between students and their motivations.

– Each student should have three cups with three things in them. Have students choose one of the items that they had brought (or collected from outside) and place it in front of them. Have them inspect the object. Encourage them to look at the details, its size, color, and shape. How heavy is the object? What is it made out of? Have them write a couple of words they can use to describe their object on a small sheet of paper.

– Once students are familiar with their object and have written down a couple of words describing it, have them bring out a couple of larger sheets to color on. Similar to Juna and her adventures, encourage the students to use their imagination to create a world where this object exists. The world can be all on one piece of paper or it can be on a couple (Refer to the illustration in the book where Juna’s places her drawings on the wall). Things to encourage students to think about:

  • Maybe they are as tiny as the object, which makes the object really big. Maybe the object takes them to an entirely different world. What creatures or characters are there in this world?

– After students are finished with their first object, have them continue with the other objects they had collected, first describing the object as best they can and then drawing a world where the object exists. Give students 20-30 minutes to draw each world, adding as much as they can to their visual story.

– Once the students are all done, have them place their objects along with their drawings somewhere in the classroom. We will call it a gallery space.

  • As an option, you can use double-sided adhesive foam tape on plastic cups to attach them to a flat wall surface. Their imagery and drawings can then be placed around their object, creating a mini-installation piece.

– After students have placed their objects on the wall, give students time to explore what others have created.



– Facilitate a discussion about what they had learned about the objects that they had collected and the stories that were created.

  • Did anyone have a favorite story that one of their classmates had made?
  • Was there a story that made you happy, laugh, sad or curious?
  • What were you able to learn about your classmates?



– Review the drawings that students were able to create.



– Choose one student a day to give an “artist” talk about their artwork. Have students gather around the selected student, where they listen to the stories that the “artist” had come up with. Similar to show-and-tell, this exercise encourages students to practice public speaking but to also give students a safe space to share their story about what they collected and the drawings they had made in a fun role-playing setting.

  • If this might be too much for the students, select a couple of “artists” to speak more about their drawings and items. This would then be like an exhibition, where “guests” (the rest of the class) can walk around to each artist as they share about what they had made.

– To make it more official, create something that the students can wear to designate that they are the artist for the day. This can be something worn around their neck, maybe a crown on their head, or a piece of clothing they could wear over their clothes. Students can then choose to wear the item the whole day if they want too.


OPTIONAL: Create a memory book out of all the drawings and stories that the students were able to create for this project. This can be given at the end of the year to parents or on parent-teacher nights as a gift. This book, then, is an object that holds memories for your students and their time in class, just like the memories they had created while doing this activity.