Life Skills-a British Council project: Activity 2- A Social Contract.

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As I have already mentioned in my  first post about this amazing British Council project we have been working on with my 5th graders, for some time now…..

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We draw a human body on the whiteboard.

 

” about a month ago, I found out that I had to teach in ….Greek ,during the so called “Flexible  Zone”  of the greek primary schools, which has to do with  projects oriented learning , for about 2 hours every week.  I had to think hard before I made up my mind and finally decided to work on a British Council project, called “Life Skills”, which sounded both  promising and challenging! I also  decided ,to do part of the project, in english! ”

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The right of education for all!

 

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The right to religion! Haha

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Playing games to practice the rights vocabulary

 

Life Skills are not something new; they are a set of basic skills
that enable us to effectively manage the challenges and questions
we face in our daily lives. They include confidence, assertiveness,
decision-making, and the ability to stay safe
and healthy.

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Schools are uniquely placed to play a key role in promoting
and sustaining young people’s emotional and social health,
as part of their role in providing a rounded quality education which helps pupils to gain the confidence they need to develop into successful adults.

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The following second activity, is a copy from the British Council   manual for trainers and teachers with recommended activities !

My students are getting more and more excited every day and ask me to keep working on this project for as long as possible! They seem to be highly enganged and happy working on it! I feel blessed that I was given the chance to work on something so creative with them, this year!…

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In this second stage, students will create a Social Contract.
Students:
• will discover their rights and obligations through their
own need to live a happy life
• will feel personally responsible for upholding human rights and become committed to safeguarding and claiming them

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A piece of cardboard cut into the shape of a tree

1. A piece of cardboard cut into the shape of a tree
2. Coloured paper cut into the shape of leaves
or fruit and tree roots

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My students are getting more and more excited every day

• We draw a human body on the whiteboard.
• We ask the students to tell us the characteristics
and traits a person should have in order to feel fulfilled
and happy. We write down the words or draw them on or next
to the human body (e.g. education near the head, emotions
near the heart, food and water near the mouth).

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• We discuss with the students which characteristics
and traits we need to survive, which to develop
as personalities and which to make our lives better.

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Freedom of speech

 

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• We draw a tree on a piece of cardboard and stick it on
the wall. We give students pieces of paper shaped like leaves
or fruit and ask them to write on them the human rights related
to the human characteristics and traits we have drawn.
When they have written them all down, we check to see
whether there is any right we may have missed.

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• We then explain to them that in order to safeguard
our rights, we all need to fulfil certain obligations as individuals.
We give students pieces of paper shaped like roots and ask them to write on them the obligations that each one of us should have.

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Learning the relevant vocabulary in english with the help of posters.

 

 

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Using anagrams to guess the english words.

 

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Deep thinkers!…

 

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A bunch of highly motivated students!

 

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The characteristics and traits a person should have in order to feel fulfilled and happy

 

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Students feel personally responsible for upholding human rights

 

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The human rights related to the human characteristics and traits we have drawn

• When our tree is ready, we ask the group whether
it is satisfied and agrees with the result. If the answer is Yes,
we ask each student to place their signature on the tree,
and show in this way that they are committed to respect
human rights, claim them and to undertake their responsibilities.

Actually, I decide to add a few activities to the original ones!

Fisrt, we played a guessing game using drawing and miming with the rights vocabulary both in english and in greek! It proved to be loads of fun!

Later, I taught them all the rights and responsibilities vocabualry in english and played a teams guessing game with them using anagrams!

Finally, we decided to make a collage using our rights vocabulary and simple drawings!

 

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Placing our leaves on the tree!

 

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We give students pieces of paper shaped like roots and ask them to write on them the obligations that each one of us should have.

 

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The tree roots

 

 

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We ask each student to place their signature on the tree

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They are commited undertake their responsibilities

 

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Our responsibilities are the roots of our rights tree!

 

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They are committed to respect human rights

 

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Coloured paper cut into the shape of leaves

 

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Working on our Rights collage.

 

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A beautiful collage!

 

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Thanksgiving class favourites

 

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Thanksgiving, is my most favourite holiday of all! Thanksgiving is the perfect time to teach our kids about being thankful. Taking nothing for granted, matters! Here are some ideas to teach  children how to appreciate the blessings in their lives.

Most of the following ideas, come from http://www.apples4theteacher.com, an amazing site I often visit! Highly recommended!

Thankful Paper Chain

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Another way to remind your children of their blessings is to create a paper chain. This is similar to a regular paper chain – where you cut strips of paper and connect them together as loops, but there’s one difference. You write on the strips of paper before you connect them. Write the things you are thankful for with your children. For instance, “Grandma plays games with me” or “My teacher is nice.” The fun part of this activity is to make the chain as long as possible – showing all your blessings. A variation I tried this year was to ask my students to write the things they are thankful for on paper turkeys which they have made by tracing their hands on paper and later added eyes etc to make it look like a turkey!

 

Thanksgiving Tree

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This is another take on the idea above and works really well if you have several kids in the family. Get each child to trace their hand on yellow, red, or brown construction paper. Cut out the hand shapes and write (or have the child write) what they are thankful for on the hand shape. Cut a tree trunk shape out of brown construction paper. Glue it on a large piece of poster board. Let the kids add their hand shapes as leaves above the tree trunk, turning it into a beautiful fall colored tree.

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Thankful Book

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This idea is similar to the others, except it’s more of a keepsake. Purchase a photo album or scrapbook kit and make a “blessings” theme. Add photos of loved ones, including stories about why they are special to you. Also, include pages of your favorite foods, favorite stories, favorite movies and all the other things that make you happy. Any time your kids feel down, you can open your blessing book to see all the reasons you have to be happy – and thankful for the blessings in your life.

 

Thankful collage 

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The goal of this craft is to create a collage filled with drawings and pictures of all the things the  children are thankful for. I ask them to cut photos from magazines, or print some photos from their  computer. Older children can write captions under the photos or draw their own. After I have talked with my 4th graders about what they feel thankful for,and we brainstorm some relevant vocabulary on the board, I ask them to go home and make their  collage  and be ready to talk about it in class, before it is put up on the classroom walls!The big poster with all the individual collages , remains on the classroom walls till the end of the school year, reminding my students of all their blessings every time they look at it! Precious!

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A Christmas Quotes tree ( and 2 more ideas)

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Well, it was my idea a couple of years ago, to have my 6th graders decorate a DIFFERENT Christmas tree , practicing their english at the same time!

I  therefore, made two Christmas Trees ( one, for each of my  classes) using card and put them up on the classroom walls!

I browsed the net and came up with hundreds of famous people’s quotes about Christmas . Later, I  prepared  handouts with them on, and asked my students to go home, read them all, decide about their favourite ones and justify their choices in class during our next  lesson!

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A class discussion followed about what’s really important in life, what Christmas is or should be about, about  life priorities, life values, family, consumerism….and many more topics!

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They just loved it  !

I ask them  to do about the same, every year…..I always provide them with the templates where they write their favourite quotes. I ask them to decorate them and make them look unique  before  we all together , decorate our Christmas trees with them!I’d like to share a couple of my favourite quotes with you all….

” I stopped believing in Santa when I was six.Mother took me to see him in a department store, and he asked for my autograph!” Shirley Temple

“He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under the christmas tree” Roy L. Smith

“At Christmas play and make good cheer, For Christmas comes but once a year” Thomas Tusser

“Christmas ….is  a piece of one’s home that one carries in one’s heart” Freya Stark

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Another idea, I used a few years ago for some time was a Students Photos Christmas tree, outside our classroom: I stick all the students  photos on paper ornaments and asked them to write their wishes or New Year Resolutions on them, before I put them up on our Christmas tree…

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Last year, I decided to use a smaller Christmas tree in the classroom decorated with flags from all the different countries my students or  members of their families come from!  Our International Class Christmas Tree!

I plan to do this again, some year soon…brings the class together!

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