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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Puppets & Land of the Red and Purple; Bully 7

Treating People Different
We often think of ourselves as treating everyone the same no matter what nationality or color of skin others have.  During times of distress, peoples underlying prejudices can appear.  Scroll down and read the story about the red and green people, and ask yourself, "Could I ever feel this way?"

Puppet Role Play; Younger

After making a puppet have your children/students use the puppet in the role play scenarios below.  Puppet outlines at bottom of this post.

Role Play Rules: Adult decides skit.  Absolutely NO negative comments or inappropriate laughter from the audience.  After skit is over, others clap.  

Scenario 1:
Jenny's dad was laid off from his job.  Money is tight and Jenny's clothes are old.  Your friend is making fun of Jenny and teasing her about her clothes.  With your puppet, what do you tell your friend?

Scenario 2
Marcus just moved into the neighborhood.  He is shy and doesn't know anyone so he keeps to himself.  Your friend starts saying things that are not nice about Marcus. With your puppet, what do you say to your friend?

Scenario 3:
Amanda has a red birthmark on her face.  The children at school tease her because of the birthmark.  With your puppet what do you say to the children teasing Amanda?

Land of the Red and Purple; Older

(Important story)
There was a land of people who were either red or purple in color.  Most of the red people did the work in the land, while the purple people, who had most of the wealth, were good at running the land and they treated the red people fairly.  There were a few conflicts that arose, but everyone knows their roles and it is usually handled with ease.  There were minor happenings of nature, health problems, or financial difficulties, in which the red people would do the work, and the purple people helped with guidance and money.  Eventually everything was back to normal.

One day a Green person appeared and began to live in the land.  At first everyone seemed nice enough and found the stranger as a fascinating topic for discussion.  Later, talking about the green person helped to distract from what could have been a boring day.  Both the red and purple people liked to invent stories about themselves and the green person, to prove their natural superiority.  They had an exaggerated since of themselves.  For the most part, talking about themselves as better than the green person, made them feel superior, and they ignored and denied the green person’s intelligence and compassionate loving nature. 

Years have passed since the arrival of the green person and somehow he made friends with some of the red and purple people, married and had children.  Some years later a natural disaster caused a significant problem and havoc in the land.  Some of the red and purple people had used the green people as a tool of self congratulations, because they prided themselves in having accepted the green family.  But, now having gone through difficulty, began to feel threatened by the procreation of these undesirable, different green people. 

The natural disaster caused more difficulties down the road.  The crops began to fail because of pests, storms brought in landslides, health epidemics broke out.  Feeling attacked by the numerous problems the land was experiencing, the red and purple people turned their anger toward the green person and his family.  The purple people feared they would be blamed for the lands problems for not having prepared well enough for a disaster and started a rumor about the green family, which they began to call the evil people.  Also in fear of being blamed, the red people were more than happy to place the blame on the green family for the problems of the land. 

The red and purple people are not stupid and know it is really not the green people’s fault that created the problems of their land; there is no one that should be blamed.  But, their FEAR and ANGER triggered it, and they took it out on someone else; it created an overwhelming need to blame.  It is most often the people who are not in a position to fight back who are targeted; innocent people who are too weak to fight back.  Panic and mistrust expanded across the land, which lead to harshness and brutality toward the green people.  The green people were accused of everything imaginable, just because they were green.  Even the people, who had been friends of the green people, even though they feel guilty, go against their former friends. 
(This kind of aggression can happen with family members, co-workers, genders, races…). 

Hate is not the answer.  When a group of people or a country is consumed in hatred, eliminating the fall guy or people who are blamed, is a possibility.  The fall guy is the victim.  Hatred contaminates, and the hatred continues far after the object of the hatred is gone.  

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Self Control; Character Education 9

Self Control
Seneca: The greatest remedy for anger is delay.
Olin Miller: If you want to make an easy job seem mighty hard, just keep putting off doing it.

Self control is the capability to make decisions on how and when we express our feelings.  Self control is doing the work first, and having free time afterwards; the longer we put things off, the more we will dread them.  Having self control of our words is important since once the words have been spoken, they are out in the world and it is impossible to take them back.  It is only human to speak without thinking once in awhile, but we still take the chance of hurting someones feelings.  We all get angry which is not a problem, it is how we react when we are angry that is important.  We do have the choice of when and how we express our feelings.

Go over Stop, Think, Go, and practice calming down techniques.  When counting, it should be done at a slow pace.  I don't want to get in trouble, should be repeated as many times as needed.  Scroll down to the bottom of Calm and Cool for the Stop Light outline.  Note that the example is glued on the stick up side down.

Calm and Cool
Scroll down to page 4 and 5 for an Example of how to fill out, Calm and Cool.


Did You Carry the Flag Today, Charley?, by Rebecca Caudill; Younger
Charley has to learn self control as he attends a summer preschool program.

Who Was Jackie Robinson, by Nancy Harrison; 8 and up
In 1947 Jackie Robinson joined the Brooklyn Dodgers, breaking the color barrier in major league baseball.  Had Jackie not showed immense self control, the integration of African Americans in baseball would have been damaged.  

Promises to Keep: How Jackie Robinson Changed America, by Sharron Robinson; Older
Any story of Jackie Robinson is a favorite of mine.  This is a longer story of Jackie Robinson written for children, by his daughter, Sharron.  She shares memories of her famous father, who broke the color barrier in baseball. 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Three Presents & Tortoise and Hare; Friendship/Social Skills 7

Appearances can be deceiving.  "You can't judge a book by its cover," because until we read the book, we do not know what the book is really about!  We often come to judge someone quickly before we get to know them, or understand their character.  Slow down quick judgement's and  get to know people for who they really are. 

Three Presents
This activity will promote a discussion about appearances and the fact that they can be deceiving.  Wrap one large, beautiful present that has nothing in it, or a rock (can be something else of no value).  Wrap a second present that is pretty but not as beautiful or as large as present number one, with a book, or a small box of crayons inside...  Wrap a third present that is UGLY and put something inside the present the children would love to have like cookies, or a small box with bills of money...  

Place the three gifts out in front of everyone.  Let the children know this is a activity and that they will not keep what is inside the box.  Explain that you will select 3 children to help with the activity and they are absolutely not to touch the present until you tell them it's okay to unwrap it.  Select your first helper and tell them to go stand behind the gift they want to have.  Almost always the child will stand behind gift number one, the beautiful gift.  Select a second helper and ask them to go stand behind one of the remaining presents that they would like to have.  Almost always the child will stand behind present number two, the next prettiest gift.  Select a third helper and ask them to stand behind the remaining present, number 3 the ugly gift.  (If it doesn't go as planned discuss why the children picked the gifts they did and take a poll of other children watching of what present they would choose).

Instruct helper one to open the absolutely beautiful present; the children are usually surprised that there is nothing or a rock inside.  Do the same for present two, and then present three.  The children are equally as surprised to see a present they would love to have in the UGLY box.  Explain that because something looks wonderful on the outside, that doesn't mean it's wonderful on the inside.  Remember this goes for people also.  Make sure you get to know the inside of a person, and not judge them by how they look on the outside.

The Tortoise and the Hare, Aesop Fable   Original Version
A hare one day made himself merry over the slow pace of the tortoise, vainly boasting of his own great speed in running.  The tortoise smiled at the hare and replied, "Let us try a race.  We shall run from here to the pond and the fox out yonder shall be the judge."  The hare agreed and away they started together.  True to his boasting the hare was out of sight in a moment.  The tortoise jogged along with a slow, steady pace, straight towards end of the course.  Full of sport, the hare first outran the tortoise, then intentionally fell behind chuckling at the tortoise all the while. 

Having come nearly to the goal, the hare began to nibble at the young plants.  After a while, the day being warm, he lay down for a nap, saying:  "The tortoise is behind me now.  If he should go by, I can easily enough catch up."  When the hare awoke, the tortoise was not in sight.  Running as fast as he could, the hare found the fox congratulating the tortoise at the finish line.
Slow but steady wins the race!

Tortoise-Hare Art Activity: 
Rabbit - Outline follows.  Use a small paper plate for the face.  Copy the ears, checks and eyes.  Ears on white and pink paper, cheeks pink, and eyes/nose in black.  Glue pieces on the paper plate.  Cut strips of black paper for whiskers and glue on.

Turtle - Use green paper with a design for the back, or use plain green paper and cut out shapes to glue on the back.  For the body trace a circle with a small paper plate for the back and cut out, using the green paper.  Glue on the paper plate.  Find two circles to trace, one larger for the head, and one slightly smaller for the 4 legs.  Glue on the paper plate in the appropriate places, (for young children glue on underneath the green circle for the back.  Older students can glue on the edge of the paper plate).  Cut out a triangle for the tail and glue on.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

My Favorite and Letter is Mine; Self Esteem 7

About Me
To be proud is to feel pleased and satisfied, which raises self esteem.  Knowing what interests a child has, and pursuing them helps a child to feel proud of themselves.  Affirming the effort of the child, helps motivate them to continue pursuing interests.  Interests can range from creative activities to physical activities.  Below are two fun pages.  The first page for younger children is about the child's interests.  The second is a page for older children, to draw one of their initials in a creative way and use the letter to start the rest of the words on the page.  Children feel proud to create in a fun way.