Take what you need.
As the end of the school year invariably sneaks up on a teacher in late May, long range plans and curriculum documents come flying out, just to make sure t’s are crossed and i’s are dotted. In class we have been focusing on wrapping up a Health strand and lessons have been full of discussion and real connections to the sometimes-tough topic of healthy relationships. All friendships and types of relationships can be looked at from an emotional, interpersonal, and physical perspective. We have been focusing mainly on the emotional and interpersonal celebrations and challenges that go with friendship, especially as this grade 4 crew moves from childhood towards adolescence.
I love a good mindmap. It a younger-student version of a sketchnote – visual and text-based. We have used mindmaps for many purposes over the year and I had one lined up for today as a way to assess the qualities of a friend with whom students have a healthy relationship. I happened to be browsing through the camera roll on my phone at recess when I came across an image I saved that someone tweeted in my PLN a while back. Basically it is a telephone-pole advertisement you might see downtown with ‘free kittens’ and a phone number written on each pull tab. But this version was uplifting. Then it hit me that I could have students re-imagine a version this advertisement as a way to both assess what they know about qualities of a healthy friendship and to be an anonymous inspiration to other students in the school. What a neat opportunity – and one that we though other students (in a K-4 school) wouldn’t ‘get’.
Out went the mindmap. In came the 10 minute mini-assessment. Out came the tape and positivity was plastered on walls of the school. I was pleased as the students were really motivated to share their work. I was really surprised though, when after recess students came squealing in the room exclaiming that their poster had only one or two pull tabs left! Awesome! They felt they made a difference (and they did)…and I got my health curriculum checked off : )
***I wish I could give credit for the image that inspired these ads. Sadly, as a semi-new Twitter user I can’t figure out how to go back and source this image…always learning!