See below to learn about what Mrs. Rios and Dr. K have been focusing on with students in the month of March!
Kindergarten & 1st Grade: “I Am” Me
Teaching young people about identity helps them to learn about their own unique identities, as well as the myriad identities in their classroom communities. In this lesson, students read Looking Like Me, by Walter Dean Myers, and examined the descriptive words that the main character uses to describe himself (e.g., brother, son, artist, dancer, runner, and dreamer). To conclude, students created their own “I am” poster.
2nd Grade: Respecting & Understanding Names
This lesson focused on how our names are an incredibly important part of our identity that sometimes carry personal, familial, and cultural connections. As students listened to The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi, they learned about the importance of self-love and acceptance of others, as well as respect for other cultures. They also had the opportunity to learn more about the stories of their classmates' names.
3rd Grade: Social Filters
Students identified and practiced how to use a social filter through the use of a sample social story and role play scenario cards. Students practiced building their social filter through 4 "Think Before You Speak" questions to reflect upon first: 1) Is it helpful? (Would saying it make someone's life easier or better?); 2) Is it necessary? (Does it have to be said? Do you have to be the one to say it?); 3) Is it kind? (How will it make the person feel?); 4) Is there a better way? (How else could you say it that is still honest, but respectful of another person's feelings?).
4th Grade: Friendships
By utilizing sample stories and role plays, students identified elements of a healthy friendship and how to interact with others who might not be their friends in healthy, compassionate, and kind ways. To further foster this practice, students reviewed 5 elements of a healthy friendship: 1) Feel Happy (when you're together, you feel safe and happy); 2) Have Fun (you have fun and laugh when you're with each other); 3) Be Yourself (when you're with a friend, you can be yourself); 4) Support and Encourage (friends support each other when things are difficult or hard and encourage each other to be more awesome); 5) Be Trustworthy (follow through and don't talk about each other).
5th & 6th Grades: Challenging Assumptions
This lesson provided students an opportunity to experience what it’s like to be labeled or stereotyped, and as a result, practiced skills to challenge assumptions and develop empathy for those who others label, even though those labels don’t fit. Students also watched a short video that asked people to make assumptions about their partner’s appearance without actually seeing their partner. They reflected on the importance of getting to know someone and what happens when we assume we already know a person prior to getting to know them. To build on our conversation earlier this year about speaking up about bias, we shared a few more suggestions and strategies for what to say if someone is making assumptions about you.