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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Citizenship; Character Education 14

Author Unknown: Coming together is a beginning, keeping together is progress, working together is success.
John F Kennedy: Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.

We are not just citizens of a country, but citizens of a world.  Good citizenship includes following laws and rules, treating others with respect, and taking care of our environment.  Something as simple as wearing a bike helmet and following bike safety rules are the actions of being a good citizen. 

Discuss the voting process and make children aware that the voting process is not just for the presidential level, but for other forms of government; country, state, and local city levels.  Compare the election process of the United States to other countries in which leaders have taken political position by force or have been born into the position.  The government in the United States derives its power from, “We the people.”  The citizens, common ideas, and freedom make this country great.  Children, who are taught and understand the basics of our political process, will more likely grow up to be voting adults.  Vote on something within your family, classroom or troop; the process can be a lot of fun to participate in.  Choose a topic to vote on such as what to have for dinner, a book, or class activity.

Other Activities:
Brainstorm what makes a good citizen.

Write about someone who you feel is a good citizen.  What qualities does the person have that make them a good citizen?  What qualities do you have?

Eleanor Roosevelt was the wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.  As First Lady she brought attention to the plight of the poor.  Later, she was a force in the drafting of the, Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  Research Eleanor Roosevelt further and write about her.  

Suggested Stories:

If Everybody Did, by Jo Ann Stover; Younger
This is a humorous book about the terrible consequences of everyone doing his own thing.  Children and adults alike will enjoy this rhyming tale.

We the People: The Story of Our Constitution, by Lynne Cheney; Older
America had won the Revolution, but the thirteen states were squabbling.  In May of 1787, delegates from across the country, including George Washington, James Madison, and Benjamin Franklin, gather in Philadelphia.  They created a new framework for governing; the Constitution of the United States.  A shaky alliance of states turned into a nation that 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Mask; Feelings 12

How Do You Feel?                                          
At times we feel good about ourselves, and at times we feel bad.  Both types of feelings are absolutely normal.  Of course we all prefer to enjoy the good feelings.  However, when we are feeling down or bad about ourselves, we may not know why, or what to do about it.  Relating to how we really view ourselves is a step in understanding.

The Mask  
A mask can help children discover how they feel about themselves, compared to how they believe others see them.  Ask children to make a mask that shows how they feel; after making the mask, ask the child to express how the mask feels.  Scroll to the bottom of this post for the mask pattern and cut out of card stock, or use a paper plate with eye holes cut out.  Using glue, construction paper, feathers, glitter, markers, crayons, and/or beads, ask children to create a mask that looks like how they feel.
Inside The Bag 
Give each child a lunch size paper bag.  Ask the children to fill their bag with things that are special or important in their lives.  Examples are: family photo, a favorite book, a music CD or music they play on an instrument, magazine cut out or photo of sports they enjoy playing or their favorite sports team, etc...  One at a time have each child take out each item and talk about why it is important or special in their life.  For older children have them also tell how they feel about the item and whether they think it will be a part of their life for a long time.  Another option is to write down if the item will be in their life a long time, and how they feel about it (instead of saying it out loud).

Mask Outline:

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Family Shield & It's All in the Name; Self Esteem 10

Families that believe that they have the ability to succeed, are far more often able to achieve it.  A strong family unit is a good basis for good self esteem.  People with high self esteem are able to accept failure and not let it keep them from trying again.  People with a positive self image are more likely to make their own decisions and are less likely to be swayed by others.
Family Shield
Every person is an individual with their own identity.  We also have a family identity; the place our family lives, the number of people in our family, outings/hobbies, foods, religion...
Take your ideas about your family and make a Family Shield. 

Scroll to the bottom of this post and copy the Family Shield outline.  Instruct the child/children to draw the following in the boxes.
Box 1: In a capital letter write the fist letter of your last name as fancy as you can.
Box 2: List the members of your family
Box 3: Draw a family flag
Box 4: Draw a family activity you do together (hobby, sport, eating dinner together, picnic, beach…)
Box 5: Draw or write your favorite thing to do.
Box 6: Draw or write about your pets, or draw an animal to represent your family.

It's All in the Name
What are your positive traits and things you like?  Think of positive traits, or things you are passionate about with the letters of your first or last name.  Write or type your name horizontally on a piece of copy paper; the example above is for the name, PATRICK.  Fill in the letters of your name with words that represents you, or something you love such as animals or family.

Suggested Stories
You and Me Together: Moms, Dads, and Kids Around the World, by Barbara Kerley
This is a heartwarming book on the universal bond between children and parents across different cultures around the world.
Coming to America: A Muslim Family, by Bernard Wolf
Hassan Mahmoud brings his family from Egypt to live in America.  The close-knit family adapts to American life while staying true to their Muslim beliefs and Egyptian customs.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Korean Fan & African Collar Necklace; Same and Different 8

Learning about other cultures is a way to discover many vantage points from which to view life.  It prepares children for the real world and teaches them to value a culturally diverse world.  Children reap the rewards of learning about different cultures, appreciate individuality, and embrace their own cultural identity.  A fun way to learn about other cultures is through crafts that represent the country.

Korean Fan
(copy paper, watercolors, scissors and tape)
Buchaechum (boo-chay-choom) is a traditional form of Korean dance usually performed by female dancers.  Dancers wear traditional dresses called Hanbok, and dance with two fans.  The dances represent images using the fans, such as flowers, butterflies and waves.  Fans  are part of traditions in many cultures including Spain and in the Victorian era.

Fan: (For a quick fan use two pieces of paper and paint one side).  To make the front and back of a fan: Use 4 pieces of copy paper.  Tape 2 pieces of paper together on one side horizontally; do the same with the other two pieces (taped side is the back of your paper).  On the front of the paper with watercolor paints, paint a design such as a rainbow of colors, or cherry blossoms on the front of both sets of paper (you are painting the front and back of your fan).  Allow the paint to dry.  With the painted side outside, glue the two blank sides together.  Trim the top of both sides to round the ends.  Fold accordion style in 1/4-inch folds.  tape the bottom of the fan to make a "handle." 

African Collar Necklace
For hundreds of years, women in central African cultures have worn beautiful collar necklaces.  At one time the necklaces represented a person's level of wealth.  Necklaces are often made with metal and woven or manufactured from cloth.  The collar necklaces can include colorful stones, feathers, shells, and beads.  Women all over the world wear a variety of styles of necklaces.

Collar: Draw a circle in the middle of a paper plate.  Cut through the rim of the plate and cut the circle out, where your neck will be.  With felt pens draw a design on the area left on the plate.  We filled in squares of color.  Spray paint Penne pasta shells gold, or a color that goes with the color scheme of the color.  Glue on the pasta shells on the outer rim of the paper plate and inside the rimmed area, if you wish.  With yarn string pasta shells and straws that have been cut down smaller, and glue the string to the back side of the collar.  Continue until you have the desired amount of hanging ornaments.  You can use beads, and "jewels" if you have them.