How Destructive Is That Emotion?

Ten Minute Lesson

A friend told me about this anti-bullying lesson that another teacher had done. I thought it was brilliant and so decided to do it myself with one especially troublesome class. Here’s how the lesson proceeded:

I gave each student a clean crisp sheet of paper. I instructed the class to crumple up the piece of paper, get angry with it, throw it on the floor, and stomp on it, rub it into the floor. Then I told the students to pick up their piece of paper, return to their seat, and flatten it out on top of their desks. “Try to make it as flat and neat as you can and then apologize to the paper for being so mean.”

When all the students had done their best to iron out the paper, I picked up one and held it up so the entire class could see it and said:

“Picture this piece of paper as the heart of another person. If you had done all those things to him or her, made him or her feel less than perfect -- through your words or actions -- these are the scars you would leave on that person. He or she would never be the same, no matter how many times you say you are sorry, no matter how many times you try to smooth things out..."

The students faces told the story of the impact this visual makes.

October is National Anti-Bullying Awareness month. While we all have flaws, no one has the right to make another person feel less worthwhile through humiliation, bullying, or any other action.  I closed the lesson with:  You can make a difference. Don’t be the one to scar another human being. Not only that, don’t allow others around you to be that person. Every day, strive to lead a life where others are valued."
“When we are caught up in a destructive emotion, we lose one of our greatest assets: Our independence.”  ~Dalai Lama
Most adults can handle random insults, but our children need to learn that "a happy society is created by people themselves... by taking action." ~Dalai Lama

This month, make a commitment. Check out Stomp Out Bullying, the National Child Traumatic Stress Network,  and Hey Ugly for ideas. Finally, I would like to send kudos to a TV anchor responded to a viewer who complained about her obesity on air.  It would be nice to hear of more examples.

1 comment:

P2ohkey said...

I like this lesson its very insightful. I personally will share this and let people know of this. It's a great concept