Skills Building: Paper Kingdom (PK-2)

Unit11 Book- Paper Kingdom

Written by Helena Ku Rhee, illustrated by Pascal Campion

Pre- Reading Questions 

  1. Look at the front cover of the book. What do you think each character is thinking and feeling? 
  2. We started talking about perspective-taking last week, why is it important to see things from others’ perspective? Does everyone think the same way? Is your life exactly the same as the life of the person next to you? 
  3. Can you think of a time when someone thought differently than you did? 

Post- Reading Questions

  1. Put yourself in Daniel’s shoes, how do you think you would feel if you had to go to work with your parents during a night shift? 
  2. Daniel’s parents use their imagination to create the Paper Kingdom for Daniel. Put yourself in Mama and Papa’s shoes, why do you think they created it? 
  3. Mama tells Daniel that when he becomes the king he should be nice to the dragons because they work hard too. How might the dragons feel if Daniel was king? 
  4. What would you do if you were the king or queen of the paper kingdom?

Creative Enrichment Activity: Perspective-Taking with Paint Blots (PK-2)


 In the books The Paper Kingdom and Gordon Parks: How the Photographer Captured Black and White America, we talked about learning how to take the perspective of another person and think from their point of view and mindset. Every person sees things their own way based on their likes, dislikes, past experiences, memories, and various other factors. Learning to recognize that others see things differently than you is an important lifelong skill. In this activity, we will create paint blots and learn how, even when looking at the same thing, each person can see something different.


  • Printer paper
  • Acrylic paint (1 color per group)
  • Paper plates (optional if paint bottles are squeezable)
  • Paintbrushes (optional if paint bottles are squeezable)

Duration40 minutes (for staff: 5-minute pre-activity setup, 5-minute prep)

  • 5 minutes: Introduce the activity using the book and examples
  • 5 minutes: Put students into small groups of no more than 4 students
  • 10 minutes: Create paint blots
  • 10 minutes: Small group discussion of paint blots
  • 5 minutes: Clean up
  • 5 minutes: Reflect 


  1. Introduce the activity using the book and the examples. Have a group discussion about perspective-taking. 
  2. Students fold all papers in half (hamburger style fold)
  3. Students use paintbrushes to add large globs of paint to one side of their paper. If paintbrushes are not available and the paint bottles are squeezable, students can add globs of paint by squeezing the paint onto the side of their paper. 
  4. Students in grades Prek – 2 use one color of paint. 
  5. Immediately fold the paper in half and press down to make a print on the second side of the paper. Open the paper back up to reveal your paint blot.
  6. Once all students in a group have created their paint blot, they will gather in their small groups and share their paint blots one at a time. 
    1. One student shows their paint blot to the group. 
    2. Students will then share what they see in the paint blot. 
    3. Each decides together to pick one painting to share with the large group. 
    4. As a group, they decide on the interpretation that they want to share.
    5. Students will see that for each painting there are multiple interpretations, like cloud shapes. 
  7. Clean up the materials. 
  8. Reflect as a large group.
    1. Each small group with share with the larger group their one chosen painting. They will ask others in the large group what they see and then they share what they decided that they saw in the paint blot.

Reflection Questions

  • What did you notice about the different paint blots in your group? 
  • Everyone was looking at the same paint blot, but did everyone see the same thing? 
  • Were you able to point out what you saw to others so that they could also see what you see? 
  • Why is it important to try to see things from other perspectives? 
  • Does everyone see every situation the same way?
Paint Blot Sample