Teaching students through children’s literature is a fun and effective way to intrinsically motivate them. We all know that stories are the best way to teach any lessons. From the beginning of time, people have told stories. Stories have been a way to share history, generations, beliefs and important lessons.
I was fortunate to do role playing in an assembly at an early year’s school. The staff of Phoenix school decided that January would be a month to celebrate and learn about “kindness” and in my role as mentor, I had the pleasure to do role playing in the school assembly. We started off sharing ideas of what “Kindness” looked like, felt like, and sounded like at Phoenix school and why its important to be “kind”. Then we shared a very cute video, One, by Kathryn Otoshi, which can be found on YouTube. It is a children’s story about the number “1” standing up to “Red” who tried to control all the other colors by making the other colors feel small and powerless. The number “1” shows all the colors, including “Red” that you never have to give in to teasing and mean behaviors. You all have the power to do what’s right and “kind” no matter how others make you feel. It’s also about bravery.
I think this video would be good to show to any age of people, to teach the value of bravery and inner strength as well as assertiveness and courage to do the “right” thing. The other lesson this video touches on is the reality of emotions and how important it is to recognize our emotions and to honor them.
After we watched the video, we did two role plays of mistakes students have made since school resumed in January. The first was about students treating another student unfairly and trying to make her feel unwelcome and unworthy by changing the rules of the game if she wanted to be a part of the game. The brave young girl tried to stand up for herself by being assertive and when that did not work, she came to me for help. We then discussed what happened and what they might learn from this mistake of being unkind. It was a beautiful lesson on helping all the students in the school see how important it was to stand up and fight for what’s right.
The second role play was about teasing. In Phoenix, some of the students think teasing others about “being in love” is okay even when it hurts the other students. The teasers were having fun, but it most certainly was not fun for the students being teased. I role played a teacher on duty who noticed a boy crying. When I debriefed with the group of students involved, the boy crying said that it’s important for boys to know that they can show their tears, their emotions. When I asked him why that’s important, he said because if we don’t allow our emotions to guide us to action, we are going to become mentally unstable. What leadership!I hope you have a courageous day!