Creating Character Education One Activity At A Time With Sharing Circles

Grades 3-8

This Sharing Circle topic comes from the grades 3-8  resource book, Guided Discussions for DEVELOPING CHARACTERYour students will build an understanding of character and its impact on them and the world around them. The topic helps your students identify the specific behaviors that comprise proactive, responsible citizenship.  The topic for this Sharing Circle is, How I Show That I’m a Good School Citizen

  Here’s Your Monday Morning Sharing Circle.
Enjoy!

 

How I Show That I’m a Good School Citizen

Purpose:

To identify and discuss specific behaviors that comprise proactive, responsible citizenship.

Introducing the Topic:

In your own words, say to the students: We have two major jobs to do at school.  One is to be a good student — to study and learn.  The other is to be a contributing member of the school community — a good citizen.  In this session, we’re going to focus on the job of citizenship.  Our topic is, “How I Show That I’m a Good School Citizen.”  

Tell us one way in which you demonstrate that you are a good citizen here at school.  Think about the things you do in class and on the playground that help the school community function well.  Maybe you make a habit of always following the rules.  Perhaps you volunteer for jobs in the classroom, like erasing the board, putting away materials and equipment, or tutoring other kids.  Or maybe you participate in a school-wide volunteer group, such as the safety patrol, or the conflict mediation team.  Do you always put your trash in a trash receptacle?  Do you take home notices and bring back permission slips on time?  Do you take part in special events, like assemblies, holiday celebrations, and open house?  Think about it for a few moments.  Being a good citizen involves many different kinds of attitudes and actions.  Our topic is, “How I Show That I’m a Good School Citizen.” 

Discussion Questions:

— Why is it important to be a good school citizen?
— How is being a good citizen of the school similar to being a good citizen of the community?  How is it different?
— Is part of being a good citizen encouraging others to be good citizens?  What are some examples?

Do you want more information?
• Leading a Sharing Circle • Sharing Circle Rules
• Books and Resources   • Free Activities   • Subscribe

www.InnerchoicePublishing.com

Here’s How It’s Done

Gather everyone into a circle.

Explain the rules for sharing, and get agreement from everyone that they will follow the rules.

Sharing Circle Rules:

•  Everyone gets a turn to share, including the leader.
•  You can skip your turn if you wish.
•  Listen to the person who is sharing.
•  There are no interruptions, probing, put-downs, or gossip.
•  Share the time equally.

After everyone has shared, who wants to share, ask the discussion questions.

Get more in-depth information here.

Just click HERE to open a fully reproducible PDF of this Sharing Circle activity…

If you like our blog resources and would like to receive them regularly, please subscribe here or on our website at www.InnerchoicePublishing.com

Thanks so much for reading!

Susanna

PS: If a friend forwarded this to you, you can just sign up to get your own weekly Innerchoice Counselor Activity Blog.

We All Need To Be Getting Along!

Getting Along - Social Skills Activities for Middle and High School Students
Grades 5-9

What does it take for people to get along?  What is required for individuals and groups from diverse backgrounds to willingly seek common ground while respecting and proudly maintaining the sundry paths that brought them to the places they share? 

The Reality

Our multicultural society is made up almost exclusively of immigrants and the descendents of immigrants, many of whom arrived on these shores seeking religious tolerance and freedom from oppression.  What ethics must we nourish in our children, what skills do our youth need to learn in order to appreciate the brilliant kaleidoscope of colors and cultures they have inherited?  How can we get them to honor, enjoy, and protect what increasing numbers would shatter and separate into little piles of hues and textures with jagged, hostile edges?  

A Place to Begin

We can start by recognizing that a school is a community and the classroom a smaller community, and that whatever happens here not only goes home, but to the theater, the mall, the library, the park, the athletic event, and the religious service.  Children must grasp that in order for any of us to truly enjoy and benefit from the amenities and opportunities that are available in the community, in order for any of us to feel entirely safe and secure, in order for any of us to expect optimal conditions for learning and growth, we must ensure that those same benefits, securities, and conditions are available to all of us.  In short, we must learn to get along.  We don’t always have to agree.  We can expect to have different ideas, different values, and different goals, but we must learn to respect one another’s rights, to work and play cooperatively, to resolve conflicts, and to take responsibility for our own behaviors and the effects those have on others and on the community as a whole.

What It Really Takes

Merely admonishing students to be “good citizens” is not enough.  Most are very familiar with the label and can readily parrot all the implied expectations.  For students to get along in the deeper sense characterized by true interdependence, they have to develop self-awareness; undertake responsibility for their actions; accept and appreciate differences in others; listen with empathy and understanding; communicate their thoughts and feelings accurately and assertively; include others in their activities; be open to divergent styles and points of view; work together to solve problems and complete projects; and peacefully resolve any conflicts they experience along the way.  What’s more, they have to be conscious that they are doing these things, and be able to verbalize the reasons and benefits.  To develop competency in these areas involves the acquisition of specific skills, along with growing awareness and open discussion concerning the process.  This in turn requires not just explanation, but modeling, plenty of practice or behavioral rehearsal, and ongoing dialogue.  

A Complimentary Activity

The activities in GETTING ALONG – Social Skills Activities for Middle and High School Students are designed to introduce students to these skills in a deliberate, enjoyable fashion and, in the process, elevate their awareness of the responsibility that each has to make the classroom and/or school a cooperative environment where everyone is included, where people experience true interdependence, and where dissent and conflict are never fearsome or ugly but, rather, natural and productive. 

Today’s selected activity, Promoting Inclusion, comes from the unit “INCLUDING OTHERS”.

Use this activity now, and purchase the book to have a whole library of instantly usable social skills skills activities with which to engage your students.

You can check the book out HERE, and you can open a reproducible PDF of your student activity HERE.

If you like our blog resources and would like to receive them regularly, please subscribe here or on our website at www.InnerchoicePublishing.com

Thanks so much for reading!

Dianne Schilling (Author)

How Our Actions Can Affect Others

Grades 3-6

This Sharing Circle topic comes from the grades 3-6  resource book, Hearts and MindsYour students will explore the impact of the things they do that make others feel good. The topic helps your students see the kinds of words and actions that create good feelings in others. They will also discover how to take credit for kind deeds and become aware of the benefits that acts of kindness produce.  The topic for this Sharing Circle is, Something I Did to Make Someone Feel Good

  Here’s Your Monday Morning Sharing Circle.
Enjoy!

 

Something I Did to Make Someone Feel Good

Objectives:

The children will:

— identify specific words and actions that create good feelings in others.
— accept credit for good and kind deeds.
— explain how acts of kindness benefit themselves and others.

Introduce the Topic:

Today’s topic is a very broad one that can be discussed in many ways. It is, “Something I Did to Make Someone Feel Good.” You see what I mean? You have probably done hundreds of things to make other people feel good. Just tell us about one.

Maybe you gave someone a flower, a present, or a compliment. Perhaps you hugged a friend who was feeling bad, or offered to relieve a parent of a chore or errand. Telling a joke can make someone feel good. So can telling a person what a good job he or she did, or saying, “I like you” or “I love you.” Describe what you said or did and how you felt inside. The topic is, “Something I Did to Make Someone Feel Good.”

Discussion Questions:

1. How do you feel when you know you’ve made someone feel good?
2. Usually, when a person feels good, everyone who comes in contact with that person benefits. Can you explain how that happens?
3. If everyone in our group tried to make one extra person feel good each day, how would our group benefit?

Do you want more information?
• Leading a Sharing Circle • Sharing Circle Rules
• Books and Resources   • Free Activities   • Subscribe

www.InnerchoicePublishing.com

Here’s How It’s Done

Gather everyone into a circle.

Explain the rules for sharing, and get agreement from everyone that they will follow the rules.

Sharing Circle Rules:

•  Everyone gets a turn to share, including the leader.
•  You can skip your turn if you wish.
•  Listen to the person who is sharing.
•  There are no interruptions, probing, put-downs, or gossip.
•  Share the time equally.

After everyone has shared, who wants to share, ask the discussion questions.

Get more in-depth information here.

Just click HERE to open a fully reproducible PDF of this Sharing Circle activity…

If you like our blog resources and would like to receive them regularly, please subscribe here or on our website at www.InnerchoicePublishing.com

Thanks so much for reading!

Susanna

PS: If a friend forwarded this to you, you can just sign up to get your own weekly Innerchoice Counselor Activity Blog.

Games Children Should Play

What’s Happening:

All Ages

Scientific research into learning and the human brain is currently exploding with discoveries about how humans learn best. It’s now widely recognized that neuroplasticity (the ability of the human brain to grow, learn, and change throughout life) can, and should be, positively enhanced by schooling. Compelling evidence suggests that if educators understand how the brain learns and implement the correct skill-building educational experiences, all students can experience success.

Movement and Stress:

This current research explosion has made it apparent that physical movement is critical to learning. Voluntary large motor activities such as games, team sports, dance, and running raise the good brain chemicals needed for learning, focus, thinking and memory access, and also help to reduce stress. Since chronic, acute stress negatively impacts learning and behavior, providing regular physical activity becomes a natural de-stressor and an important part of any school day. Research suggests that students benefit from 30 to 60 minutes per day of movement and organized physical activity.

Games and Learning:

Pro-social games of all kinds offer additional important ways to purposefully promote social and emotional learning. The natural desire of children to play together and have fun makes games an ideal delivery system for teaching important life skills. Through the structure, rules, and social interaction of games, children learn to share and take turns. They practice self-control and the effective management of negative emotions. They learn that motivation and persistence pay off. Games teach children the benefits of interacting with others in fair, just, and respectful ways, and help develop the critical life skills of collaboration and teamwork.

These important social and emotional skills are not innate talents, but learned abilities. The acquisition of social-emotional skills is facilitated by the structure and rules of games, by peer interaction, and also by adults modeling these behaviors and helping students to make appropriate learning connections. 

A Complimentary Activity

Today’s selected activity comes from the unit “GET-ACQUAINTED GAMES” in our book, EVERYBODY WINS! – 100 Social-Emotional Games That Children Should Play.

The games in this section were selected because they encourage self-disclosure and sharing in the non-threatening context of play.  They can be used to help students become better acquainted, to promote inclusion, to build team cohesiveness, or as preludes to more challenging tasks.  Players introduce themselves to one or more persons, focusing on the value of each individual and acknowledging similarities and differences.

Use this activity now, and purchase the book to have a whole library of instantly usable games to engage your students.

You can check the book out HERE, and you can open a reproducible PDF of your student activity HERE.

If you like our blog resources and would like to receive them regularly, please subscribe here or on our website at www.InnerchoicePublishing.com

Thanks so much for reading!

Susanna