Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Power of Words!

I tried an activity that I found on Blog Hoppin' that had to do with building your classroom community. You know how sometimes you see an activity on one of the great blogs out there and you think "that would NEVER work in my classroom"? I was a skeptic but I was WRONG! This lesson was powerful and thought-provoking for the children.

We started by reading Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes. I read it the first day for pleasure and the next day as a teach piece. (Personally I was surprised by how few children in my class had read this book). This story is about a little mouse who LOVES her name. When she goes off to school, some of the children tease her about her very long and very flowery name.

The next day we read the story again and talked about the words that we use that are kind and make our heart feel good.
On the second heart we wrote words that hurt. The children were VERY HESITANT to tell me bad, hurtful words because they have been trained to NOT say them. I had to give them the OK to share and said that it was OK to say them when we were learning what NOT TO SAY. Once I gave them the go ahead, the floodgates opened. As we read back the hurtful words, I folded up the heart. We talked about how using hurtful words hurts the heart. Their eyes were riveted to me as I folded it. Using the word "wilted" from the story made it all the more powerful. I had the children give me the words that would make the hurting heart feel better and I unfolded the paper. We talked about how the heart was big again but still wrinkled. Even saying "I am sorry" will not make the heart all better.

One of my students suggested that we keep the heart with the kind words on it but throw away the one with the hurtful words on it. One of my other students suggested that I rip up the heart with the hurtful words and throw it away. Great idea! Unfortunately, I was not using my BLOGGER brain and forgot to take a picture of the wrinkled heart before I ripped it up. It would have ruined the dramatic factor anyway!
It was a great lesson designed by a great teacher (Thanks Deanna) made greater by terrific kids!

Bee the Change~

1 comment:

  1. Oh, Happy Day! I just wanted let you know that I have chosen you for the Versatile Blogger Award. Stop by my blog to check it out!

    Andi @