Monday, January 12, 2009

Positive Values in the Classroom

From Cindy Lawrence, one of our Elementary Asset Specialist:

I went to Glen today to present an asset lesson to 4th graders that tapped into positive values; caring, integrity, honesty

I knew that they were beginning the African story, Mufara's Beautiful Daughters, as their essential literature piece this week. I began by reflecting on an African story about the Masai people that I had shared with them on a previous occasion. Recognizing that different cultures often teach important values through stories, I then shared the Cherokee parable about the Good Wolf: Bad Wolf. We each carry wolves inside our hearts and how they are always battling for control. (Which wolf wins is the one that you feed)

The kids 'got it' and one girl immediately made the connection to the Angel:Devil within us that we deal with when making decisions. We discussed Caring, Honesty, and Integrity. Integrity was defined as doing the right thing regardless of circumstance. The two times it could be most difficult to maintain our integrity is when we're tempted to feed the bad wolf when no one is looking (You're hungry, someone else's cookies are on a desk and no one is around), or perhaps in the case when EVERYONE is looking (You invite the new kid at school to eat lunch with you when others are being unkind). Rosa Parks and MLK demonstrated integrity in a very courageous way.

In the end, they had to choose two different colored bands to tape together and wear that represented the good and bad wolves that we all have in our hearts. They each received an animal cracker to feed their good wolf to make it strong.