Sunday, April 26, 2009

Family Traditions

What traditions do you have in your family? Share some of your traditions.

Fast Facts about Grandparents

Fast Facts About Grandparents

  • The average age of first-time grandparents is 48.
  • About one-third of American adults are grandparents.
  • The United States has 70 million grandparents, and the total will be 80 million by 2010 as the Baby Boom generation of 76 million people (born between 1946 and 1964) become grandparents.
  • The number of children living with and/or being cared for by their grandparents has increased by 30 percent over the last decade.
  • More than 6 percent of America's children live with their grandparents today.
  • America's grandparents spend more than $30 billion a year on their grandkids, double what was spent a decade ago.
  • In the past 30 years, the number of great-grandparents actively involved in their great-grandchildren's lives has increased tenfold.

Life's Lessons

What advice have you received about life from your grandparents or older family members? They are usually filled with wonderful tidbits of information about everything!

Grandma's Cooking

Do you have a memory of a favorite food from a grandparent or special family member? What is the food? Who helped make it? Was it for any special occasion? Tell the story of a favorite food memory.

Grandparent Stories

Grandparents always seem to have the best stories. Share a story that your grandparent told you or that your parents told you about your grandparents.

What do you call your grandparents?

What do you call your grandparents? Click the picture above to view grandparents all around the world. Discuss how your grandparents got their names.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Remembering Columbine

It's been 10 years since the Columbine massacre. Bullying and social outcasting were some of the major reasons the incident ever occurred. Click here to read about one of the survivors today.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

In the news...

April 13, 2009 — Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover hanged himself last week, after enduring months of threats, harassment and anti-gay slurs. He would have turned 12 this Friday. Click the picture to read the article.

Imagine...the power of words

Just Kidding!

Students are asked to consider the difference between good-natured teasing and bullying
through discussion of fictional scenarios and reflection on real-life situations. Students are provided with concrete guidelines that help them to understand when harmless joking has crossed the line to become disrespectful or mean. Click here for the lesson.

Taking Back Hurtful Words

It is extremely difficult to take back hurtful words once they have been said and once you've said it, someone's feelings have been hurt. It is much easier to be careful to choose your words wisely and with kindness.

This is useful with a lesson about how unkind words can hurt others and how hard they are to take back once they have been said and the damage has been done.

Have students sqeeze the toothpaste out on the paper plate to symbolize hurtful words that we use against someone.

Then have them attempt to put the toothpaste back into the tube.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Don't Judge a Book By its Cover

Click the picture above to watch the amazing video of Susan Boyle from Britain's Got Talent.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Power of Words: The Frog Story

Click the frog to read the motivational story about frogs.

The Blind Men and the Elephant

Click the elephant to read the folktale, "The Blind Men and the Elephant".

After students have heard the story, use the following questions to guide discussion of how differences in perspective can make it difficult for people to communicate. Students should be encouraged to apply the moral of the folk tale to real-life situations.
  1. How does it feel when another person doesn't "see" something the same way you do?
  2. What happens in the story when each blind man "sees" the elephant? Why were there six different ideas about the elephant? Were any of the men right about the elephant? Were any of them completely wrong?
  3. What did the blind men learn from the Rajah? What does the storyteller want us to learn from this tale?
  4. Do problems like this happen in real life? Think of times when arguments or misunderstandings have occurred because people saw situations from different points of view. Describe what happened.
  5. What if the men in this story were not blind? Would they still have different ideas about elephants?
  6. Does the story give you any ideas about how these problems can be solved? What are some steps you can take to understand why another person doesn't see things the way you do?

Speak up!

In Germany they came first for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up
because I wasn't a Communist.

Then they came for the Jews,
And I didn't speak up
because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came or the trade
unionists, and I didn't speak up
because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn't speak up
because I was a Protestant.

Then they came for me,
and by that time
no one was left to speak up.

© 1945, Reverend Martin Niemoller.

Classroom Activites: Complete these sentences to think about what this poem means for you. Share your ideas with other students.

1. I have spoken up about

2. I have not spoken up about

3. People don't speak up sometimes because

4. I will speak up if

5. My friends will speak up when

6. We can speak up when

7. It is easier to speak up when

8. I will help others speak up if

You're Tearing Me Apart

This lesson is a powerful visual of how words can tear people apart.

How Tolerant are Kids at Your School?

Print the middle/upper grades survey and have students fill it out. This will facilitate a discussion about tolerance at school and cliques.

Bursting Stereotypes

Balloons serve as a conduit in this lesson in which students "burst" stereotypes that unfairly label individuals or groups. Click the balloon for the lesson plan.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

That's so...gamer guy

Click the image to enlarge the poster and discuss.

That's so...cheerleader

Click the image to enlarge the poster and discuss.

That's so...jock

Click the ad to enlarge the poster and discuss.

Think before you speak....that's so gay

Say something original...

NOTE: The role plays below are intended to explore alternatives to the word “gay” when
used in well-intentioned, but inappropriate ways. It is important to underscore that these
scenarios depict good-natured teasing and playfulness among friends, and that using
“gay” or any other language to be intentionally mean to others is never acceptable.

Randy and Chris are window shopping at their favorite store. Randy points out a pair of sneakers that are
orange with bright pink stripes and announces, “those sneakers are so…”

Karen’s 10th grade English teacher assigns the class to write an essay entitled “If I were a barnyard animal I’d
be a...” During lunch Karen jokes with her friends that the assignment

During science class a bee flies through the window and startles Manuel, who swats at it in
a flustered way and sidesteps away from it awkwardly. Manuel’s best friend kids, “that was so…”

While unpacking in their hotel room on the youth group overnight, Dawn’s friends observe
that she has packed each and every one of her toiletry items in a separate Ziploc bag. The girls giggle and
one teases good naturedly, “You are so…” [SAY SOMETHING ORIGINAL]

Instead of “that’s so gay,” try…
behind the times
way out

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Teaching Tolerace: The Power of Words Curriculum

Teaching Tolerance has created a power of words curriculum. If you are considering using any of the lessons, you should read through them thoroughly because they do touch on subjects that we might not usually talk about in school. Having said that, it is wonderfully designed and really gives the ability to open up discussions about things that are difficult to talk about. Please be warned that there are words on these pages that are hateful, but are used to discuss why using these words are inappropriate.

Male Bashing and Gender

Ethnic Stereotypes

Antisemitism and Hate Speech

Reclaiming Pejorative Words

Words that reinforce stereotypes

Intention and Perception

Ethnocentrism and Xenophobia

Ethnic and Multiethnic Identity

Social Justice Words

GLAAD PSA: The Power of Words

words hurt....bullying commercial

...but words will never hurt me....

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. What do you think about this saying? Many people think that words can hurt more than sticks or stones. Most people don't bat an eye when someone says "gay" or "retard." And that's wrong. How much do you cringe when you walk by a group of kids and someone says, "That's so gay!" When someone says "That's so gay" in lieu of "That's so stupid," they're saying everything about gay people is stupid. Sure, it may not be meant that way, but if we continue to let people use words like "gay" and "retard" in a negative way, people get hurt. Words hurt. The more you're allowed to perpetuate the incorrect use of a word, the harder it is to get people to realize what they're doing.

Words Can Hurt

With your advisors, think of words that we use that might be considered hurtful to others. Why do we use them? Why do we accept others using them? Think about how you use they hurt or do they heal?

Weight of Words

Some people have mental retardation (intellectual disabilities). While mental retardation is not a bad word, when used to describe someone or something you think is bad or stupid it becomes another thoughtless hurtful word. People with intellectual disabilities are not bad. Their condition is not bad. The prejudice and discrimination to people with intellectual disabilities is BAD…and WRONG! Please stop using the word ‘retard’. It hurts individuals and families of those with disabilities.