Jena Not Perfect Hat Collage1.jpg

Project Name:
Critterkin's Not Perfect Hat Club


The Not Perfect Hat

Project Description:

CritterKin's "Not Perfect Hat Club" is an engaging, entertaining and delightfully playful way to teach kids that perfection is not an option. It grew out of CritterKin's visits with elementary school students who repeatedly said negative things about themselves and their work. It was clear we needed to find a way to help the kids set their judgments aside and trust both themselves and the creative process. In its first incarnation, the "Not Perfect Hat Club" was not a club at all, just a battered, green sun hat that Jena wore to class one day to make the kids laugh. When they asked why she was wearing it, she told them it was her "Not Perfect Hat" and asked them why it's important to wear one. A lively discussion followed in which the kids told her "nobody is perfect," and described their own "Not Perfect" hats. The Not Perfect Hat Club has since grown into an illustrated CritterKin storybook, lesson guides and a variety of project based learning activities that encourage kids to throw perfection to the wind, trust themselves and explore their creativity. In this global classroom version, a variety of multi-media, multi-modal tools will allow teachers and their kids to join the "Not Perfect Hat Club," explore what it means to be "Not Perfect," and share the results with classrooms around the world.

Target Grade Levels:

Primary 3-6

How will students communicate with each other, and share their learning in this project?

Project Wiki
Project Blog
Social Media
Google Hangouts and/or Skype
Project Pinterest board

Project Duration:

January 2015 - May 2015

Handshake Activity:

CritterKin author, Jena Ball, will introduce and describe the project in a video that will be posted to the project's Wiki and blog. She will also make in-person visits to individual classrooms using GHO or Skype to read the first chapter of the "Not Perfect Hat Club" book and lead a drawing and storytelling exercise. Students will be encouraged to complete their stories after the visit and post them to their page on the project's Wiki and share via social media.

Guiding Question/Theme:

Helping students understand that no one is perfect, and that being "not perfect" frees them to be more creative, kind and accepting of themselves and others.

Project Goals:

Like all CritterKin projects, the "Not Perfect Hat Club," is designed to give children the opportunity to experience and practice emotional skills such as empathy, compassion and kindness for themselves and others. The project will use story-driven, project based learning activities to:

1. Give students the opportunity to experience and practice what it means to be "Not Perfect" using multi-media and multi-modal storytelling tools.

2. Use the "Not Perfect Hat Club" as a vehicle to facilitate kindness, compassion and respect for themselves and others as a way to combat bullying, prejudice and self-judgment..

3. Create opportunities to practice literacy skills such as reading, writing, vocabulary development and storytelling.

4. Provide forums where students and teachers can learn from and share their insights and experiences with classrooms around the world.

How we will measure student contribution:

Student's contribution will be measured by their participation, as evidenced by the work they submit to the project Wiki and blog. We expect some of these to include stories, drawings, photos, videos, personal essays, multimedia presentations, collaboration with and contributions to other students' work.

How we will assess students:

Our goal with the "Not Perfect Hat Club," and all CritterKin PBL projects we've done is to promote student engagement. Our multimedia, multi-modal approach is designed to accommodate each student's individual learning style with the goal of engaging all students in an entertaining learning experience. Projects like this generate a great deal of content that can be evaluated through a variety of traditional assessment tools depending on teacher/school preferences. CritterKin believes that each child's work should be judged on an individual basis. Throughout the project, students will be encouraged to review and assess their progress and achievements with the help of their teachers and peers.

How we will celebrate students' success and foster self-reflection:

Self-reflection and celebration are built into the CritterKiin model. We routinely blog, Tweet, post to Facebook and Pinterest, share images, and record and share our interactions with the students. For this particular project, we will continue to do all of the above while also offering space for the teachers and students to post their own material and comments. Included will be the option for each class to publish its own virtual and/or printed book chronicling their experiences.

Additional Information:

Teachers around the world are concerned about balancing traditional literacy skill building with the teaching of emotional literacy. More than any other group, the educators who take part in the Global Classroom Project are showing their commitment to teaching the "whole child." CritterKin's "Not Perfect Hat Club" project will give students real world experience meeting, interacting and collaborating with students around the world, fostering greater empathy, kindness and respect in the process.

How to get involved:

1. Please visit the "Not Perfect Hat Club" Wiki and request to join:

2. Send an email to CritterKin Coordinator Karin Lippert:

Karin will get back to you with information on how to set up the visit from Jena Ball, and where to get the teacher guides created for the project.

3. Please tell us:

Your name and contact information (email and phone)
Location and time zone
The name of your school
If you are interested in GHO or SKYPE visit with Jena Ball
What are the best days and times for a visit?
If you are not interested in a classroom visit, but would just like to post photos and contribute to the Wiki, please contact Jena Ball

Contact Information:
Twitter: @JenaiaMorane

CritterKin is headquartered in North Carolina, and has worked with schools across North America.