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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Cooperation; Character Education 7

Burkina Faso: An axe does not cut down a tree by itself.
Nelson Mandela: If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy.  Then, he becomes your partner.

Cooperation means working together and getting along.  Cooperating means to listen, share, take turns, and compromise.  It is important to show appreciation to others, and include everyone.  The benefits of cooperation are part of our everyday lives.  Sports teams, families and almost any group will work far better together when they unite and make an effort to get along. 

Paper Letter
It takes cooperation to work as a group.  As a family or small groups in a classroom, make paper art taking turns working on the project.  Decide what letter you will use.  A family may want to use the letter of their last name, a group may want to use a letter that represents an important word or the name of their school.  Draw a wide letter on a piece of construction paper.  Using small pieces of copy paper or tissue paper, scrunch the paper up and glue it on the outline.  It's easiest to glue on half of the outline, fill in and put on second half of the outline as you come close to it.  

The Web
(Need a ball of yarn or string; this is a small to large group activity)
Have children sit in a circle.  Tell the children to make sure they hold on to the yarn when it comes to them, and not to let go of the yarn.  Give the ball of yarn to one child and instruct the child to hold on to the end of the yarn.  Have the child roll the ball of yarn to another child on the other side of the circle.  The recipient of the ball of yarn holds onto the yarn so that it is stretched out.  While keeping the yarn stretched, the child rolls the yarn to another child on the opposite side.  Continue this process until everyone is holding piece of yarn.   

In the center of the circle a web has been formed.   Tell the children to keep holding on to their yarn while the parent/teacher steps toward the center of the web and one at a time, tugs on a part of the yarn.  Ask which student felt the pull.  Repeat this process until everyone has felt a tug.  Explain that if one person did not hold on to the yarn, the web wouldn’t be complete; we are working and connected together.

Other Activities:
1. Sing a song in round like, Row Row Your Boat.  It takes cooperation to sing a round.

2. Are you cooperative?  Go through the list and decide by writing Y for yes next to the skills you have, and N for needs to improve for skills you need to work on.
1.      Listen carefully to others
2.     Willing to share
3.     Take Turns
4.     Do the very best that I can
5.     Can problem solve when a conflict arises
6.     Show appreciation and encouragement to others
7.     Include everyone
On skills you need to improve on, what can you do to make improvements?

3. Brainstorm a list of what is good about cooperation, and/or what difficulties can arise when people are not cooperative with each other.

4. Write about a time you cooperated with someone and how you worked together, or about a time cooperation was needed but not used and what happened.

5. Learn about the cooperation of bees or ants.  Do research and find out facts.

Story Suggestions:
The Great Big Enormous Turnip, by Alexi Tolstoy; Younger
A farmer grows an enormous turnip and needs a lot of help to pull the turnip out of the ground. 

Live It: Cooperation (Crabtree Character Sketches), by Marina Cohen; Older
Live It: Cooperation, ffers character sketches around the issue of cooperation

Saturday, August 18, 2012

My Life Toss and Journal; Self Esteem 6

Positive Thinking
Think about your favorite dessert.  How does thinking about your favorite dessert make you feel; probably happy.  You thought about dessert and you felt happy.  What you think affects how you feel.  Our thoughts trigger feelings.  When we are thinking happy and pleasant thoughts our mood will be lifted, but bleak and sad thoughts can drag our feelings into the dump.  It is not easy to change our thought process, but not impossible.  It takes practice.

My Life Toss; Younger
(8 x 11 rectangles of paper, markers, crayons or computer clip art, a bean bag or small stuffed animal to toss)
Decorate, draw and/or write on the rectangles of construction paper that represents different aspects of the children’s life.  Choose topics such as home-family, school, hobbies-interests, games-sports, friends, etc…   Place the rectangles on the floor.  Toss a bean bag or small stuffed animal toward the rectangles, depending on what rectangle it lands on, tell about something positive that happened.  An example is, if it lands on school, tell something you liked that happened at school.  After the child finishes their story,  it is the next child's or parents turn.  Sharing positives promotes good attitudes and self esteem.

Journal; Older
Keeping a journal helps us to understand our thoughts.  You will be able to see by your writing how you are feeling and whether your thoughts tend to be positive or negative.  Re-read your journal, and on a new piece of paper, re-write negative entries into positive words.  If not the whole entry, try one sentence in the entry.  We can be in control of our thoughts, which will affect our feelings.  When you hear yourself being negative, try to change the words around into a positive.
Activity: Journal
Use a small notebook pad of paper and decorate the cover.  Or, take the cardboard from a single entree frozen dinner such as a Lean Cuisine or Smart Ones.  Cut off the flaps and one of the small ends until you are left with a shape that looks like a book.  Cut a piece of construction paper to fit the cardboard book and glue on (can cover inside with paper also).  You can omit frozen dinner cardboard and just use heavy card stock.  Decorate; we took a piece of fancy card stock and glued a rectangle shape on.  Cut lined paper (with holes), to fit your journal.  Punch two wholes on the side of the journal and use brads, ribbon, or yarn and attach paper to journal.  

Monday, August 6, 2012

Papper Dolls & Calm and Cool Log; Feelings 9

Feelings and Anger
Anger in children is often triggered by frustration.  Getting angry is a part of life, it is what we do with the anger that matters.  When frustration is left unchecked, the intensity of the emotion can intensify and then is likely to outburst.  By understanding the feeling of frustration and anger building up, we can take steps to calm ourselves down.
Paper Dolls
Make paper dolls and draw faces to express different emotions.  To make 4 paper dolls take a piece of paper 8x11, and remember to always fold the paper in the same direction, leaving a part of the main fold uncut.

1. Fold the paper in half once, fold in half twice, fold in half for a third time; remember to fold in the same direction. 

2. Draw half of a male or female doll shape on the paper making sure that parts of the doll will be against the fold..

  • 3. Cut out the outline of the doll keeping the the hands on the fold uncut, then cut a space where the legs should separate.
  • 4. Decorate the paper dolls and draw a different feeling on each face.
  • Calm and Cool Log                                                                             Scroll down to page 4 and 5 for the example of how the Calm and Cool pages should be filled out.  Filling out this log will help children to notice when they start to become frustrated or angry, and learn what to do to cool down.  Scroll Down For Example.


    Saturday, August 4, 2012

    Snow Flakes and My Family Your Family Interviews; Same & Different 6

    Families Commonality
    Families have traditions from the foods we eat, to the way a particular holiday is celebrated.  All families eat food, but the type of food or the way that it is prepared, is often unique to ones culture, the region they live, and/or religious aspects.  The family interview toward the bottom of the post, touches on the similarities and differences we find in families.  

    Every snowflake is the same since they all have six sides and six points; a hexagon.  But, each snowflake is unique since they form different and original shapes.  Snowflakes are like us because each one is unique, and nobody is exactly like you.  With that said we have a lot in common with each other as in going to school, learning the same subjects, and making snowflakes.


    Snowflake Activity
    1. Use a piece of paper 8-inch by 8-inch.
    2. Fold into a big triangle.
    3. Fold again to make a smaller triangle.
    4. Hold the triangle with the longest side at the top.
    5. Fold the right hand corner over towards the middle, until it is directly above the bottom point of the triangle.  Press the edges firmly down.
    6. Fold the left hand corner over towards the middle until it crosses over the right hand point.  Press the edges firmly down.
    7. Cut off the two points sticking up in a straight line (or, cut the tails off).
    8. You are now left with a triangle.  The tallest point will be the center of the snowflake.
    9. Cut out a pattern; swirls, spikes, or a mixture of both.  You MUST leave at least some of the folded edge intact.

    My Family Your Family
    Two children interview each other about their family.  There is a younger and older version of worksheets.  After interviewing each other, the children compare what is similar in their families, and what is different.  At the end, each partner states something that is the same and different about each other.