Every teacher enters the classroom on the first day of school with high hopes and expectations. I sure do! Well, this year, instead of hoping the year stays positive, I decided take direct steps to keep my students on the positive path and off the side paths of negativity. So what am I doing? I’m so glad you asked!!!
*THE WRINKLED HEART activity : A few years ago I saw this on Pinterest and “grabbed” this activity with both hands!!! I wish I could find the person who first posted this idea because I’d hug them!! This activity is a winner!
Give each student a sheet of red construction paper. Have your students fold their paper and then cut out a heart. Size doesn’t matter. After their heart is cut out, ask your students to wad up their heart and WHISPER insults to the heart….just a short time! Don’t want the students to get carried away. After a minute or two of whispers, I ask the students to smooth out their heart and tell it , “I was just playing” or “I was just kidding”. Have them continue to smooth out their heart. Then ask the students if the marks on the heart disappeared after telling the heart they were “just kidding” or “just playing”. Of course the marks are still there. I remind the students that their hearts are just like the hearts they insulted. While the words may be gone, the heart still shows the scars…just like our hearts can be scarred by careless or negative words. It really got to my students…as I had hoped. Words have power to scar and we resolved to make sure our words didn’t leave scars on anyone’s heart this year.
Let me know how you build community in your own classroom.