What Matters

Illustration Elements

Illustration Éléments

Illustration Sub-competencies


The Teacher’s Voice

Our class read the story What Matters by Alison Hughes and Holly Hatam. The story starts with a boy doing a small act (picking up a can and throwing it into the garbage). He does not know it, but his tiny act has big consequences. The story traces the ripple effects of how the small act makes a difference and results in layers of impact. 

After reading the book, we reflected on our daily lives and brainstormed small acts that we could do. We also identified possible ripple effects for each small act. Students then selected one act that they could do (i.e. pick up pencils that had fallen on the ground) and wrote a story about their selected small act in a style like the one used in What Matters.


Student Work Video

This student chose to use iMovie to tell her story about a girl who picked up a pencil.


I can take purposeful action to support others and the environment.

I can build relationships and be a thoughtful and supportive friend. I can identify ways my actions and the actions of others affect my community and the natural environment. I look for ways to make my classroom, school, community, or natural world a better place and identify small things I can do that could make a difference. I demonstrate respectful and inclusive behaviour in a variety of settings, and I recognize that everyone has something to offer.


I communicate purposefully, using forms and strategies I have practiced.

I participate in conversations for a variety of purposes (e.g., to connect, help, be friendly, learn and share). I listen and respond to others. I can consider my purpose when I am choosing a form and content. I can communicate clearly about topics I know and understand well, using forms and strategies I have practiced. I gather the basic information I need and present it.