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Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Power of Words Name Calling and Compliments Lesson

During first and second grade classroom guidance this week, we talked about  how powerful words are. Words can either tear a person down or build them up. They can make a person feel really sad or angry, or can make them feel happy or proud.

I introduced this topic by writing the following phrase on the board: "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me." We discussed whether or not this was a true statement. If someone hit me in the arm with a stick, would that leave a mark? If someone threw a rock and hit me in the leg, would that leave a bruise? What if someone said something really mean to me? What would that hurt? Sticks and stones may physically hurt your body- leave bruises or scratches, but words hurt a different part of your body- your heart/feelings.

We watched a short video about someone who got called names, and then talked about how it makes people feel to be called names, and we discussed what they did in the video to make things better between them. We then reviewed how powerful words can be when used to either build someone up or tear them down.  

Class Activity:
For the activity, I wanted the students to practice using their words to build others up- by using compliments. I taped a sheet of paper to every kid’s back with their name on it, and instructed the class to write something positive about each person in the class. Afterwards, I collected each of their sheets of paper- (before they looked at it so that I could read over them to make sure everyone wrote kind things).

As the students left, I gave the papers back for them to take home and to remember how powerful their words can be.  How did the compliments make you feel? Was this easy or hard to come up with compliments for everyone? Knowing what we learned about the power of your words, what will you try to do differently this week? Many of the students were very excited to have all of the nice things said about them during today's lesson! 

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