Sunday, December 28, 2008

Desert Survival

If you liked the moon survival activity, try this one!

It is 1:00 p.m. on a Saturday afternoon at the end of May. You and your teammates have just finished a two-day training in Casablanca, Morocco. You are all on board a chartered, twin-engine plane that is destined for Dakhla, Morocco, a small town on the coast of the North Atlantic Ocean, approximately 1000 miles from Casablanca. At the beginning of the flight the Captain came on the overhead speaker and invited you to sit back and relax during the two-hour flight. The first fifty minutes of the flight were fine. Around this time the pilot comes back on the speaker to let you know that you are currently flying over the Sahara Desert and that weather reports showed a temperature high of 115 degrees. Approximately one hour and ten minutes into the flight, you hear a loud blast and the plane nosedives. Within minutes you realize that the cabin is losing pressure. When you look outside the windows, you notice that is dessert below is growing larger as the plane rapidly descends toward the ground. You notice that the only things you can see out of your window are some large boulders and miles and miles of sand. The pilot comes on once again to let you know that the plane has blown an engine and is therefore, indisputably, going to crash and so all on board should prepare for a turbulent, possibly fatal, crash landing. Within minutes the planes crashes and smoke and flames fill the cabin. All surviving passengers and crewmembers scramble to exit the plane before it explodes. Seven minutes after the crash, the plane explodes in a fiery ball that reduces it to rubble. With the exception of the airplane’s captain and one crewmember, you, your teammates, one flight crewmember, and the co-captain have all survived the crash. Now you must decide how to work together to survive the desert climate and terrain, get help, and hopefully make it out of the desert alive. On your way of the plane, in the few minutes before it exploded, you and your teammates were able to salvage the items in the list below. It is May and you and your teammates are dressed in business casual for the hot summer months of Africa. With only the clothes on your back and the items pulled from the wreckage, how will you survive?

Rank the items below in order of importance and develop a game plan to help you get out alive.

1 Book of matches

3 Airplane blankets

20 Feet of nylon rope

1 Sewing kit

2 50 kg Tanks of oxygen

20 Cans of soda

1 Life raft

1 Bottle opener

1 Magnetic compass

1 Single-blade pocketknife

15 Gallons of water

3 Signal flares

1 First aid kit

1 Snakebite kit

25 Mini bags of pretzels

55 Mini bags of peanuts

1 Safety razor blade

4 Airplane pillows

Survival on the Moon

The year is 2040. You are a member of a space crew that was to rendezvous with the mother ship on the lighted surface of the moon. You experienced mechanical difficulties and your ship was forced to land about 200 miles from the point you were to be. During re-entry and landing, much of the equipment on your ship was damaged. Your survival depends on you reaching the mother ship. You will need to survey what is left that is useable and determine the most critical undamaged items that you will take for the 200 mile trip.

Your task is to look over the list below which contains the useable, undamaged items left on your ship, and rank them in order of their importance for your crew. Remember you need to rank each item in terms of its value in allowing you to reach the mother ship. Copy the list below or print out a copy. Place the number 1 by the most important item and keep going to number 15 which will be the least important. Be ready to explain why you have given each item the rank it received. Use your knowledge of the Moon and its environment to help you make your decisions. When you are done you can check how you did against the rankings given this same list by NASA. If you are doing this activity in your classroom, compare your rankings with other groups or individuals and hear their reasons for their rankings before checking the NASA list.

How close did you come? Were your top 5 most important and bottom 5 least important items (regardless of ranking numbers) the same ones as others in your class? Or the same as on the NASA list? (See link below.)

___ Box of matches

___ Food concentrate

___ 50 feet of nylon rope

___ Parachute silk

___ Portable heating unit

___ Two .45 calibre pistols

___ One case dehydrated milk

___ Two 100-pound tanks of oxygen

___ Stellar map (of moon's surface)

___ Life raft

___ Magnetic compass

___ 5 gallons of water

___ Signal flares

___ First aid kit containing injection needle

___ Solar-powered FM receiver-transmitter

NASA's Ranking will help you see how well you did.

Voice Finder

What's your niche, your groove, your life's purpose? This is called "finding your voice".

What am I really good at? ....this is talent
What do I love doing? ....this is passion
What does the world need that I can get paid to do? ....this is need
What do I feel I should do? ....this is conscience

Sean Covey created a voice finder map that students can use to reflect on what they want out of life. Click here to print it.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Sticky Note Gifts

Give every student enough sticky notes for every person in the group including the teacher. Tell them that they have all the money in the world and are going to give each person a gift. They are to write the names of the people on each sticky note and write what they would give them. Once everyone is done, call each student up one at a time and have the other students read their gift out loud and hand them a sticky note. Make sure to discuss the importance of choosing something that would be meaningful to the gift recipient.

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Girl Effect

Here are some facts about the girl effect.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Andrew's Season

Andrew Lawson is a popular senior at Norwell High School who plays varsity basketball. He also has Down syndrome. Watch this clip about how his high school friends support him and look past his differences.

Just the Way you Are

Watch Billy Joel sing "Just the Way You Are". Follow along with the lyrics Have a discussion about why it is important to not change for others. For some more fun, have the kids sing along karaoke style with this background music. Have you ever tried to change something about yourself because you thought you'd be accepted more? What does it mean to be true to yourself?

The Candy Game

  • Have participants sit in a circle
  • Give each person 10 pieces of candy
  • Go around the circle and have each person name one thing in their life that they think is special or some talent or ability that they possess
  • As each person says what they want to say, the other members of the group throw that person a piece of candy if that is not something that they have in common with that individual
Example: I say, "I can play the piano." If you can also play the piano you do nothing, but if you cannot play the piano you throw me a piece of candy
  • You should try to encourage the members of the group who are having a hard time thinking of something, as there should hopefully always be something to find in a persons life that is good
  • The game should hopefully end at a point where all members have the same amounts of candy again or at least where everyone has some so that no one feels left out - this up to the leader

Scrapbook Yourself

Your personal "celebratory scrapbook" and place to honor yourself.
Develop a scrapbook that celebrates you and the wonderful person you are. Include pictures of yourself at different ages, writings you enjoy, mementos of things you have done and places you have been, cards you have received, etc. Or set up a place in your home that celebrates "you." It could be on a bureau, shelf, or table. Decorate the space with objects that remind you of the special person you are. If you don't have a private space that you can leave set up, put the objects in a special bag, box, or your purse and set them up in the space whenever you do this work. Take them out and look at them whenever you need to bolster your self-esteem.

Gift from the Heart


Each member of the group chooses an imaginary gift to give to each person in the group. Each gift is drawn or described on a piece of paper to be given to the recipient. The gifts should be thought out so they represent the individuals who receive the gifts.

The gifts may be deep and thoughtful such as “courage to face life’s difficulties”, for someone who has shared many deep problems with the group. Or the gifts may simply be something the receiver would enjoy, such as “a season ski pass to go skiing any time you want,” for someone who enjoys skiing.

Once everyone has completed their gifts, let one person at a time give out his/her gifts to the others. When giving the gifts, the giver should explain what the gift is and why she or he chose to give that particular gift to the individual.

Discussion Topics

1. How did you decide what gifts to give?

2. What did you think about the gifts you got?

3. Do you think there was a good match between the people and the gifts they received?

Eye Spy Game

Click the picture above to play a mind habits booster game.

Grow Your Chi Game

Click the Chi button above to grow your chi. What's chi?
Noun1.chichi - the circulating life energy that in Chinese philosophy is thought to be inherent in all things; in traditional Chinese medicine the balance of negative and positive forms in the body is believed to be essential for good health

Wham! Self Esteem Game

Click the hammer above to play the wham! self esteem game.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Rules for Being Human

Cherie Carter-Scott wrote the book, If Life is a Game, These are the Rules. Included are these 14 rules seen on the video. As a group, write your own rules for being human.

Snowflakes are Unique

Each snowflake is unique, just like each person is unique. Have students cut out snowflakes and write what is unique about them in light blue pencil. Hang them all around the classroom to celebrate unique characteristics!

Talent Links

Begin by asking students, "Who has something that they really do well?" After a brief discussion about some of those talents, pass out paper and ask the students to write down 5 things that they do well.

Once all students have completed their list, ask for volunteers to share their lists.

Allow students to come up and select 5 different colored paper strips. Using markers, have the students write one talent on each strip of paper.

Demonstrate how to create a paper chain with their strips; linking their 5 talents together. As students begin to complete their mini chains, use extra strips of paper to link the mini chains together to create one long class chain. Have students stand and hold the ever-growing chain as you link it together, until all are linked.