MS and HS Preview: Month 1

Table of Contents

As you advance through each month of 5 Radical Minutes, additional content will become available.

Week One

Note: Be sure to read the introduction before jumping into this first week of prompts. It will help you know what supplies you will need and where to find the teacher and student surveys. 

Day 1
Introduction

Introduction

Remember to have your bell or cymbal or chime at the ready so it is easy to let students know when you’re moving from paired sharing to finding what they have in common. Using the bell to get their attention will allow you to give the instructions to find what they have in common without having to raise your voice.

There’s a new activity we’re all going to do every day. It’s called 5 Radical Minutes because it only takes 5 minutes. 

Each day you’ll have a different partner and so will I. We all need to learn how to listen better. Each day we’ll be paired up with a new person until we’ve been paired with everyone in the class. Some days some other school staff might join us.

There will be times all through life when we have to work with people who might not be our first choice. For now, it might be working collaboratively on school projects or doing a task at home with a brother or sister. Later, it might be a co-worker when you have a job or getting along with a neighbor who lives next door. We don’t always get to choose the person with whom we’re going to work. When we do our 5 Radical Minutes program, we are all going to take turns with everyone in the classroom. Even those who might not be your favorites. It is important that no matter who is our partner for the day, we bring our best selves every time.

Each day we’ll take just five minutes to connect with one another. I’ll give a topic to discuss, and then each of us will listen to our partner for two minutes and then they will listen to us for two minutes with no interruptions. The last minute, we’ll find out what we have in common. It’s a little bit different way to get to know each other.

Today is just to get us started, so we’re going to share about something easy.

prompt

Prompt

Have students break into pairs. If there’s an uneven number, the teacher is paired with someone. If the number is even, consider seeing whether there is an adult in the building that could join you (a secretary?  an administrator?  the custodian?) If the teacher is not paired with a student, the teacher could sit in with a pair to listen, to model the body language and eye contact of active listening. Continually look for ways to reinforce that adults in the building are genuinely interested in the perceptions and needs of students.

You each have two minutes to talk about your favorite flavors, foods or meals. You can talk about anything from a best meal to restaurants to favorite meals for certain occasions (camping, birthdays, holidays, hanging out with friends, studying, road trips, after working out, etc.)

When each person speaks, the other person is just to listen, not comment. And the second person should respond to the prompt, not what the other person has said.

Ring the bell to start their sharing time. Ring it after two minutes so they can trade roles from listener to speaker. Ring the bell at the end of sharing time.

Note: Two-minutes is the goal, but these first few prompts may go quite a bit more quickly. Remind them not to respond to one another during their two-minute talking time. They’re to just respond to the prompt directly.

Connecting

Connecting

Do this in pairs during the last minute.

Did you have anything in common about what you like?

Ring the bell to mark the end of one minute.

challenge

Daily Challenge

This will be a goal based on our daily prompt, and lays the groundwork for more intentional mindfulness later. If possible, have someone touch base with the students on this challenge at the end of the day.

It’s interesting that there are so many different likes when it comes to food. Today, notice how things taste. We eat so many foods for so many different reasons. Notice how you’re feeling when you eat today, and how our feelings influence whether or not we make healthy food choices.

Day 2
prompt

Prompt

Have students break into pairs. If there’s an uneven number, the teacher is paired with someone. If the number is even, consider seeing whether there is an adult in the building that could join you (a secretary?  an administrator?  the custodian?) If the teacher is not paired with a student, the teacher could sit in with a pair to listen, to model the body language and eye contact of active listening. Continually look for ways to reinforce that adults in the building are genuinely interested in the perceptions and needs of students.

Each person has two minutes to talk about a television / Netflix show or movie they really like. What’s so great about it? Does it make you feel a certain way? (happy, sad, encouraged, challenged, inspired, checked out, etc.) Do you like the cinematography or writing?

Ring the bell to start their sharing time. Ring it after two minutes so they can trade roles from listener to speaker. Ring the bell at the end of sharing time.

Connecting

Connecting

Do this in pairs during the last minute.

Was there anything you had in common?

challenge

Daily Challenge

This will be a goal based on our daily prompt, and lays the groundwork for more intentional mindfulness later. If possible, have someone touch base with the students on this challenge.

Today, think about a movie you’ve seen that showed someone who overcame adversity or met challenges with a positive outlook.

Day 3
prompt

Prompt

Have students break into pairs. If there’s an uneven number, the teacher is paired with someone. If the number is even, consider seeing whether there is an adult in the building that could join you (a secretary?  an administrator?  the custodian?) If the teacher is not paired with a student, the teacher could sit in with a pair to listen, to model the body language and eye contact of active listening. Continually look for ways to reinforce that adults in the building are genuinely interested in the perceptions and needs of students.

Today we’re going to talk about something we are glad to have in our lives. Something we appreciate. It might be a pet, it might be an adult or friend, it might be what our school serves for lunch, or your favorite tree!  Anything we are glad to have in our lives.

Ring the bell to start their sharing time. Ring it after two minutes so they can trade roles from listener to speaker. Ring the bell at the end of sharing time.

Connecting

Connecting

Do this in pairs during the last minute.

Did you have anything in common? It is fine if there wasn’t, but just take a moment to see whether you have something in common about your stories.

challenge

Daily Challenge

This will be a goal based on our daily prompt, and lays the groundwork for more intentional mindfulness later. If possible, have someone touch base with the students on this challenge.

Think about all the things you’re thankful for today. As you go through today, notice the things that you appreciate. They can be big things but they can also be little things. It might be a person, an action, something in nature, a pet, or even a texture that makes you feel more comfortable.

Day 4
prompt

Prompt

Have students break into pairs. If there’s an uneven number, the teacher is paired with someone. If the number is even, consider seeing whether there is an adult in the building that could join you (a secretary?  an administrator?  the custodian?) If the teacher is not paired with a student, the teacher could sit in with a pair to listen, to model the body language and eye contact of active listening. Continually look for ways to reinforce that adults in the building are genuinely interested in the perceptions and needs of students.

With your partner today, talk about a time you really appreciate when someone was kind to you. You could recount the event or exchange, you might talk about how the person could have made a choice to have done something less supportive, or maybe you want to talk about the character of this person.

Ring the bell to start their sharing time. Ring it after two minutes so they can trade roles from listener to speaker. Ring the bell at the end of sharing time.

Connecting

Connecting

Do this in pairs during the last minute.

What can each of you name or identify that makes someone kind?  What do kind people have in common?

challenge

Daily Challenge

This will be a goal based on our daily prompt, and lays the groundwork for more intentional mindfulness later. If possible, have someone touch base with the students on this challenge.

Today, let’s notice kindness. Really look for ways to be kind to the people around us, too!

Day 5
prompt

Prompt

Have students break into pairs. If there’s an uneven number, the teacher is paired with someone. If the number is even, consider seeing whether there is an adult in the building that could join you (a secretary?  an administrator?  the custodian?) If the teacher is not paired with a student, the teacher could sit in with a pair to listen, to model the body language and eye contact of active listening. Continually look for ways to reinforce that adults in the building are genuinely interested in the perceptions and needs of students.

Today you can each share about someone you look up to… someone you admire. It can be someone in your family, someone at school, or somewhere else. It might even be a public figure!

Ring the bell to start their sharing time. Ring it after two minutes so they can trade roles from listener to speaker. Ring the bell at the end of sharing time.

Connecting

Connecting

Do this in pairs during the last minute.

Can you identify anything that the people you spoke about had in common?

challenge

Daily Challenge

This will be a goal based on our daily prompt, and lays the groundwork for more intentional mindfulness later. If possible, have someone touch base with the students on this challenge.

For the rest of today, think about people you admire. Notice your appreciation and work on being someone others can appreciate. What is one helpful thing you can do for someone?

Week Two

Day 1
prompt

Prompt

What is something you’d like to learn about?  It could be a school subject, but it could be any interest you have. It could be about someplace far away, or something in nature.

Connecting

Connecting

Did you have anything in common?

challenge

Daily Challenge

Learning isn’t just about school. Many adults are interesting and happy because they still love to learn. Today, think about ways you can really pursue what you want to learn about.

tip

Prepare

Note: This Friday is a time for shared laughter. Prepare for whatever you think will work. This could be a fun video or you could see if any of your students have ideas for a skit or song or other short performance that is sure to bring laughter. Take time to put this together before Friday!

Day 2
prompt

Prompt

Today your prompt is “something I value or something I treasure.” It might be an object, or it could be a person or a relationship.

Connecting

Connecting

Did you have anything in common?

challenge

Daily Challenge

Sometimes it takes courage to share our values. One of the greatest things we can do is to respect other people’s values. If someone makes a statement today about something they like or value, acknowledge it verbally and take a moment to appreciate it.

Day 3
prompt

Prompt

Talk about the ways we can respect someone else’s privacy.  You don’t have to talk about something personal in your life, but what are some general examples?

Connecting

Connecting

Talk together about why you both know this is important.

challenge

Daily Challenge

Respect is a great thing to notice about ourselves and appreciate about others. For the rest of today, try to be aware of respecting someone else’s privacy, or being respectful in what you say about others. Also, make room to respect yourself today!

Day 4
Introduction

Introduction

Sometimes it is fun to think about what it was like when we were younger.

prompt

Prompt

Share a favorite hiding place you had when you were younger. Did you share it with others? Was it a secret from everyone? Did you find it by accident or did you decide to create a place?

Connecting

Connecting

What did you have in common about your hiding place?

challenge

Daily Challenge

Sometimes we use hiding places just to have some time to ourselves. We do that differently as we get older, but maybe not SO very differently! Think about ways people hide at the age you are now, and what makes people feel like they need some alone time.

Day 5
Introduction

Introduction

Today is just for fun.

prompt

Prompt

Watch a short, fun video together. Or learn the Macarena on Youtube.

challenge

Daily Challenge

Laughter is a great way for people to bond. Today, let’s explore ways we can put more good clean fun into our friendships. Today, laugh with your friends!

tip

Prepare

You’ll need a flip chart and post-it notes for two different prompts next week.

Week Three

Note: As you’re getting more comfortable with the program, don’t forget to remind your students of what the goals are, and let them share what they enjoy about things so far.

Day 1
tip

Prepare

Gather post-it notes and a place to collect them all, such as a flip chart.

prompt

Prompt

Hand out post-it notes to each student.

What are ways you’ve learned to relax or ideas you’ve heard from others about how to calm oneself when feeling stress? During your 2 minutes, write down each idea you have on a post-it note.

Connecting

Connecting

For our last minute, let’s collect all our post-it notes on our flip chart.

challenge

Daily Challenge

Everybody has stress, but there are things we can learn from one another that might give us new ideas on how to manage it. From what you learned today, think about ways you can work to relieve stress in your life.

tip

Prepare

Note: You’ll need to use your flip chart and more post it notes for Wednesday’s prompt.

Note: Think of a way you can get all these ideas to each and every student. Perhaps you can take a photo of all the ideas on the flip chart and email it to all students. You could print out the image for all students to take home. You could also keep it displayed in the room so all students can refer to it as needed.

Day 2
prompt

Prompt

Today your prompt is “One thing I love to do on the weekend is…”

Connecting

Connecting

Did you have anything in common?

challenge

Daily Challenge

It’s wonderful to reflect on things we enjoy. Think about one or two other things you’re really looking forward to, whether here at school or in another area of your life. Think about ways you can keep these things handy in your memory so you have something great to remember! Maybe you could put some pictures up in your room or locker to help you.

tip

Prepare

Note: You may want to use post-it notes for tomorrow’s 5 Radical Minutes.

Day 3
tip

Prepare

Gather post-it notes and a place to collect them all, such as a flip chart.

prompt

Prompt

Invite students to write their ideas on a post-it note during their two minutes, one idea per note.

What are some attributes, or behaviors, or attitudes you can list of the people you most respect?

Connecting

Connecting

During the last minute, have students post their ideas on one section of a white board, a flip chart paper, or on a wall, and leave it up for a couple of days so students can look for new ideas. Invite one or two students to share their ideas as everyone posts their ideas.

You might take a picture of the ideas with your phone and compile a document for each of your students (either print out or digital) so they all have additional tools at their fingertips if they help relaxing.

challenge

Daily Challenge

Today, let’s continue to collect our thoughts together on a flip chart [or other location in the room]. When you have an idea, jot it down on a post-it note and add it to the list. By the end of the day, we should have a really great list of character traits going.

Day 4
prompt

Prompt

With your partner today, talk about a time you felt fortunate or a time that something turned out pretty well for you.

Connecting

Connecting

You can talk about how your stories were similar, or you can see whether what you feel when something good happens is similar.

challenge

Daily Challenge

Sometimes we are a part of things turning out OK for others! Today think about being kind, even to people you don’t know. Notice how it makes you feel, and how it makes other people feel.

Day 5
prompt

Prompt

The animal kingdom has some pretty amazing “families” in it. Today, talk about the things we have in common with animals — needs, drives, roles, responsibilities, etc.

Connecting

Connecting

What can you agree on that we have in common with animals?

challenge

Daily Challenge

It is interesting to think of how much we have in common with animals… they have to be courageous sometimes, and strong sometimes. Many of them have to take care of their young, some of them live in family groups. Think about these amazing qualities in animals and what we as humans can learn from them.

Week Four

Day 1
prompt

Prompt

Today you can each share about a public figure you admire.

Connecting

Connecting

Can you identify anything that the people you spoke about had in common?

challenge

Daily Challenge

It’s easy to envy people’s public life and think it’s so different from the life we each live in the real world. It’s also easy to wish we had their famous life, but there are good things to appreciate surrounding our everyday life. For the rest of today, notice the people around you and think about the qualities you admire about them.

Day 2
prompt

Prompt

Today, share about someplace you’d like to go or see in the next year or two.  Talk about what makes that place of interest to you, and maybe who you would like to go with you.

Connecting

Connecting

Were there similarities about your interests?

challenge

Daily Challenge

New places are all around us! Often, when we’re in the car we’re looking at a screen. This week, see how many times you can put your phone down and look at the world around you.

Day 3
prompt

Prompt

Today is a fun one.  Share something that was really funny that made you laugh.  It is great if it is something that happened in our class or in your family, but if you can’t think of anything that happened to you personally, what about something that was really funny in a movie or book?  Before you begin to share, think about our ethic of not laughing at other people because they are different, or in a way that would make them uncomfortable at all.  This needs to be something that was fun for everyone.

Connecting

Connecting

What happens when people laugh together? Why is that important?

challenge

Daily Challenge

Laughter helps us feel comfortable with one another as long as it isn’t laughing AT someone, but rather laughing at something that everyone found funny.  Today see if you can bring laughter (that is kind) into the lives of those around you.

Day 4
prompt

Prompt

What is something kind you have seen someone do at school. This could be recently, or it could go back as far as you like. Just an example of how you saw kindness in school.

Connecting

Connecting

How were your examples similar?

challenge

Daily Challenge

If we could just all be our “best selves” and be kind – maybe even when it isn’t easy – the world would be a gentler place and we’d all find life more enjoyable. Notice kindness around you today and look for ways to practice being kind.

Day 5
Introduction

Introduction

Some of our prompts are going to be about what we notice about nature. Especially in our world of so much technology, we sometimes fail to notice that it is the world that gives us a home, that feeds us, and that gives us life!

prompt

Prompt

Describe something about nature that you like. It might be some place in nature you like to go, or a particular kind of plant or animal that you like, or some other aspect of nature that calls to you.

Connecting

Connecting

For your last minute, talk about why it is important for us to appreciate nature.

challenge

Daily Challenge

Sometimes we don’t appreciate things until we lose them, so it is important for us to pay attention to the world around us. Notice nature today, and all the ways it helps us. From the water you drink, to the food you eat, to the sun that warms you, to the shade of the tree right outside, to the leaves that grow on its branches, nature makes our lives better every single day.  Find something in nature to appreciate.