Tapping our strength

Here's an activity that helps students (K-6) see themselves as active players in the world. 

Begin with an introduction that might go something like this:

People have a lot of strength within themselves, but we don't always notice these strengths and abilities.  Everyone in the class has done difficult things, maybe without realizing how much they have accomplished.  Today we are going to reflect on the power we have to make the world the way we want it to be.
Divide students into pairs. 

Ask them to take turns talking for a few minutes (about two minutes each) to share a time when they did something that made the world a better place.  Stress that it can be something big or small.  Examples: taking part in the AIDS Walk or talking to a friend who was upset.  Let students know when the time is about half up and it is time to switch.
Ask students to take turns talking for another two minutes each about a personal quality they have that enabled them to be helpful. 
Ask volunteers to share with the class their responses on the two questions. 

  • How did you feel doing what you did? 
  • Was it difficult?  Easy? 
  • Are you planning to do something similar again? 
  • Does everyone have the power to make the world better?
  • Ask a few volunteers, what are some things you became aware of today that you hadn¬ít thought of before?

Art & Writing

Have students draw a picture of themselves in the situation they thought of.  Or, they can write about it. 
Create a bulletin board using the stories and/or pictures the students have composed about times they have made a difference.

You might want to supplement the activity with readings from the book Stone Soup for the World, which includes stories about people who have worked to change the world.