Sunday, August 10, 2014

Loved That Lesson: Introducing my Class Theme of the Year

I'm so excited for the first day of school, just so I can introduce the theme for our classroom this year:

"be the change"

It all started when I watched a music video by Alex Boye and then a viral video about some German students who stop to support a homeless man on the street.  It all just seemed meant to be, so I decided my theme for the year would focus on being the change based on this quote from Mahatma Gandhi:

So, on the first day of school, I'm going to introduce our classroom theme.  I"ve planned three lessons that introduce and explain the theme to students and lead us to the ultimate end of having students set goals on a regular basis throughout the year to make change in themselves, thus influence those around them.  Below, I've outlined the first lesson.  You can get the full three day outline along with the student goal sheets in my full mini-unit set linked at the end of this post as well as a link to get posters of each quote for free. 

Start by sharing the Mahatma Gandhi quote with students, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world”.  Hang up the poster of the quote.  Ask students what they think this means and support students in a discussion without giving your opinion or steering students toward a “right” answer. 

Then, show this video about three German students who stop to help a homeless man.  Ask students to think about how the quote relates to this video.     

Then, have groups of students write their thoughts on some post-it notes. Have some chart paper or your whiteboard ready for students to stick their notes.  You can label sections with the reflection questions or just have a parking lot area ready for students to place their notes.

Some reflection or guiding questions might be: 
·        What were some correlations with the quote and video?
·        What strengths/skills did these people bring to the    situation? 
·        What was the outcome of the collaboration? 
·        What strengths can you offer to help make change? 

As students are writing notes and posting them, wander among the groups and take note of some of their ideas to ready yourself for a class discussion following the group brainstorm.

Bring the students back together and hi-light some of the recurring ideas or those that especially stand out as ideas to share and discuss.  Lead your discussion to the conclusion that we have the power within ourselves to make change that then affects others.  Hopefully, we use that power to effect positive change.  

I'm so excited for this to be my theme and to come back to it frequently throughout the year.  I'll also be relating it to my introduction of the 7 habits for effective students that I introduce the first week or so of school.  We're not a Leader in Me school, but we introduce and refer to the habits as a grade level team throughout the year.

If you'd like the posters of the quotes that I made you can get the set here. There's a quote and video for each lesson.  You can get the second two lesson plans and goal planning sheets for the entire school year in this set.  

Be sure to click below to see many other great lesson ideas and link up your own great lesson idea as well!

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