For MS and HS Teachers: Month 6

Week One

Day 1
prompt

Prompt

What are some foods from different ethnic cuisines that you like? Remember pasta is Italian, burritos are Mexican. Gyros are Greek. Sushi is Japanese. General Tso’s chicken and eggrolls are Chinese.

Connecting

Connecting

What did your preferences have in common? How have these ethnic inroads enriched our lives?

Daily Challenge

Notice the influences around you today and appreciate the variety of ethnic influences that make life richer for you.

Prepare

Thursday will be a Community Circle and Friday will be Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction.

Day 2
prompt

Prompt

Who are four people from an ethnic group other than your own that you respect and why?

Connecting

Connecting

What did you learn from the observations that you each made? What similarities did you notice?

challenge

Daily Challenge

Today, strive to see all the good things you can learn from the people around you.

Day 3
prompt

Prompt

Choose three countries – What intrigues or interests you about them?

Connecting

Connecting

What did you have in common? How can this curiosity about other countries and cultures be useful and beneficial?

challenge

Daily Challenge

Choose one thing to be intrigued about today and see what more you can find out about it. Other cultures can teach us a lot.

Day 4
prompt

Community Circle

Prompt

What inventions or products or gifts to the world have come from other cultures or countries?

Note: If they can’t think of things you could ask what kindsof cool cars and popular everyday cars come from other countries (Toyota – Japan, Germany for BMWs, Italy for Lamborghini and Vespa) types of motorcycles, Italy is known for fashion, Ireland and Scotland for wool sweaters/clothes, etc.

challenge

Daily Challenge

We truly live in a global economy. Notice all the good things we experience because of the ingenuity of other countries.

Day 5
prompt

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

Prompt

Use one of the Blue Sky Moments options listed HERE.

challenge

Daily Challenge

We all get frustrated on any given day. Today, when you feel frustration building, take a few moments to breathe deeply so you can maintain perspective. It will help you solve problems!

Week Two

Day 1
Introduction

Introduction

This whole week is on service projects – service to others.  If your class were to decide on a service project [describe that if needed], to what group would you most want to donate time?  Some options could be homeless, veterans, elderly, the hungry, children (especially disadvantaged children), the humane society. [You may name others that are local to you but be sure the students know they are welcome to add to the list rather than choose from it.]

prompt

Prompt

Name a group you would most like to help if you could organize a service project in your community.

Connecting

Connecting

What did you have in common? Even if the cause is different, we often share similar motivations.

challenge

Daily Challenge

Helping others helps everyone. Be helpful today, even if it’s in small ways. Your actions can make a big difference.

Day 2
prompt

Prompt

Develop an idea for a service project serving kids. Who would they be? What do they need? How is their life difficult?

Connecting

Connecting

What commonalities did you find?

challenge

Daily Challenge

Today, notice those around you who are younger. Consider the challenges they face and see what you can do to encourage them. Even a smile can go a long way.

Day 3
prompt

Prompt

If you took a small step in the direction of organizing a service to others, what would it be?

Connecting

Connecting

What is holding you each back from that small step? Work on some ideas together to overcome these barriers.

challenge

Daily Challenge

Taking steps can be difficult. Today, focus on the good that would happen if you chose to move forward. Often, that’s all the motivation we need to gain courage to move forward with an idea.

Day 4
prompt

Community Circle Day

Prompt

I’m going to call out groups of people and you guys just volley back your first ideas about what kind of service or support could be helpful for them.  It is just great if your ideas are for something small and doable, not necessarily some huge project.  What is something that a group of high school kids could do?

  • Elders: the older people you know of in your neighborhood.
  • Single mothers who are working outside of the home
  • Veterans returning from war (What if we invited them on Veteran’s Day to show that we appreciate what they did. What if we honored them on that day?)
  • Homeless people
  • Kids who have serious illnesses and are in and out of hospitals
  • Students struggling with depression
  • Elementary school kids who have trouble keeping up in school
  • Neighborhood kids who go home to an empty house after school
challenge

Daily Challenge

We all have needs. Keep looking for ways to help the people groups around you.

Day 5
prompt

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

Prompt

Use one of the Blue Sky Moments options listed HERE.

challenge

Daily Challenge

Today if you feel overwhelmed, close your eyes for a moment and envision the place that makes you feel at peace. You can’t always go there physically, but you can visit it in your mind. Often, this is enough to calm us down.

Week Three

Day 1
prompt

Prompt

This week is about how valuable it is to learn lessons from the past or from others’ mistakes. What is one lesson kids can learn from something you have seen happen to someone famous? It could be something they did that made them successful (lesson of the value of working hard) or something they did that has been a problem (movie stars that end up in rehab and even more, the ones that don’t go to rehab but need it!)

Connecting

Connecting

Talk about the difference between learning from others and learning from experience. What are the pros and cons of each?

challenge

Daily Challenge

Today, notice what you’re learning from those around you, whether in person, on tv, or on social media.

tip

Prepare

Note: Wednesday is a fun day. Prepare something accordingly. Thursday is a Community Circle and Friday is another Blue Sky Moment.

Day 2
prompt

Prompt

What is a lesson you feel you could teach others about trust, told without mentioning names or necessarily whether it happened to you or someone else, but focus on the lesson.

Connecting

Connecting

Learning lessons from experience usually makes a lasting impression. What are some ways learning from other can have a similar, long-lasting impression?

challenge

Daily Challenge

Today, consider ways you share your story and the lessons you’ve learned with the people around you.

Day 3
prompt

Fun Day

Prompt

Introduce your fun day.

challenge

Daily Challenge

Laughter helps us feel better, even if it’s just for a few moments. Look for laughter today. Chooseto laugh.

Day 4
prompt

Community Circle

Prompt

Feel free to divide your students into groups of 4-6 or do as a whole class circle.

Today, let’s name children’s stories that had lessons in them.  Using a popcorn style, name the story and the lesson learned. Include a brief description if it’s a story we don’t all know well.

challenge

Daily Challenge

Lessons are all around us. Sometimes we learn without even realizing it. Today, think about the last movie or show you watched and notice the lessons it was trying to teach.

Day 5
prompt

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

Prompt

Use one of the Blue Sky Moments options listed HERE.

challenge

Daily Challenge

Being calm helps us to feel better and more in control. Carve out a few more moments of intentional calm before your day is over.

Week Four

Day 1
prompt

Prompt

This week will be on regret.

Sometimes we get really stuck in guilt or regret when we’ve done something we realize we wish we hadn’t done, or something that hurt someone else.  Guilt and regret have a role in building a moral compass of kindness, but not by continuing to feel the guilt or regret forever.  Talk about what we can learn when that little voice inside is talking guilt and regret, and what we can do to make use of that information.

Connecting

Connecting

How can guilt or regret push us in a positive direction? How can we listen to that voice more easily rather than getting stuck?

challenge

Daily Challenge

Think about the ways guilt and regret can be really helpful in the short run, and why it isn’t helpful to hang onto over time. This perspective shift can help us in powerful ways!

tip

Prepare

Thursday is a Community Circle and Friday will be a Blue Sky Moment.

Day 2
prompt

Prompt

Sometimes, when we feel guilt or regret, the most direct way and the way of positive character would be to go straight to the person and give an apology and make amends. What are some of the ways you could start that conversation and what would someone need to say?

Connecting

Connecting

Were there similarities in your thoughts? Differences? What did you learn from each other’s perspectives?

challenge

Daily Challenge

Today, take some time to think of someone with whom you need to make amends. Tomorrow we’ll talk about various ways to make amends.

Day 3
prompt

Prompt

Sometimes we can’t speak to the person involved in the situation that causes us guilt or regret.  It might be that we don’t know who they are (like if we did something damaging to a car and walked away, and then felt bad, but we don’t know who owns the car and it has been driven away by now).  Sometimes they’ve died since the event that felt bad.  Sometimes you know it really would make the outcome worse to try to have a conversation about it.  What are some ways people can make amends when they can’t approach the other person or people involved?

Connecting

Connecting

What was most helpful about what your partner shared?

challenge

Daily Challenge

Consider your options in a situation about which you feel you need to make amends. See if you can take the next step. (That next step may simply be to talk to an adult for advice!)

Day 4
prompt

Prompt

Divide the class into small groups of four to six students.

If a group of kids from one school did something damaging to another school – break windows, tag the school, that sort of thing – and it makes the news, and it is a big deal.  What ideas do you have for what kids in the school – even if they aren’t the offenders – what could kids from that school do to make amends?  Does it matter whether it makes the news in order for students to make amends?

Connecting

Connecting

What did your ideas have in common? How could these ideas work in other situations (friend groups, families, competing businesses, etc.)

challenge

Daily Challenge

Making amends can be difficult. Today, focus on the benefits that making amends affords those willing to invest in it.

Day 5
prompt

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

Prompt

Use one of the Blue Sky Moments options listed HERE.

challenge

Daily Challenge

Staying calm and relaxed helps us make better decisions. Before you make decisions today, try taking a few deep breaths first.