Traditionally in Second Grade at our school we teach about relationships and consequences as part of our communities unit (teaching the kids how to be a good citizen/member of a community). This year I decided to do communities and relationships and consequences at the very beginning of the school year. It's something that I wanted the kids to get right from the beginning of the year and not in the middle somewhere. I had a three day unit and the kids LOVED every day!
Day 1: Emotions
I put up a list of emotions on the board. We went through all of them. I had the kids show me what they looked like and we talked about when we feel the different emotions. We played the "mirror game" where two students stand across from each other. One student would have to use their body and facial expressions to display an emotion. The other student had to mirror (copy) them and then guess what the emotion was. Each partner got to lead a few times. After that activity I had a bunch of pictures of people displaying different emotions. The kids had to decide which emotion each picture was showing. After this we talked about how we should react and interact with people when they were feeling each of the different emotions. We then broke up into groups and each group was assigned an emotion. The group had to come up with a skit with some people showing the assigned emotion and others reacting to it. The kids loved the lesson and I think they really took it to heart.
Day 2: Consequences
I started by sharing a PowerPoint. There were pictures that had clear consequences (for example a glass sitting on the very edge of a table). I had the students raise their hands and tell me what they thought the consequence would be of each picture. Through this we learned what the word consequence really meant. After we were done with the PowerPoint we talked about how consequences can be bad or good. I gave the students some scenarios and they told me what the consequence might be and whether it was bad or good. After this I held up an egg (not boiled) and asked what the consequence would be if I dropped it (into a bowl of course). There were audible gasps, I don't think they believed I would actually do it - but I did : ) Of course the egg cracked. We talked about how I might be able to clean up the mess, but I could NEVER put the egg exactly back how it was. That is how it is when we make a mean comment to someone, bully someone, or hurt them. We may be able to say sorry or make up, but the damage has been done and we can't completely un do it. I think this analogy really hit home for the kids and it made them realize that their actions are important. It was a powerful teaching moment.
Day 3: Kids can be superheroes!
Our school counselors have a superheroes theme this year and that is what got the thought process going on this lesson. My final lesson about relationships and consequences began with a discussion about superheroes and what my students knew about them. They were excited to answer and they shared a lot of great characteristics that they knew superheroes had. I then asked them if they thought kids could be superheroes. I was surprised that almost all of them said yes right away. We talked about what kids could do to be superheroes and made a list of what they would do specifically this year to be superheroes. We then went back to our desks and I showed them a couple of videos from a website called Kids are Heroes. Find some of the videos here. After that of course we had to make our own superhero faces! When they were finished I put them around the superhero pledge we had made. It turned out great and I am going to love looking at it in my classroom all year long. It will also be a great reminder to the kids of the type of person they need to try to be this year!
Here is a picture of the pledge and the superhero faces: