The beginning of a new year, and the days leading up to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday and his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, provide an ideal opportunity to connect to your Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) curriculum. Below are some ideas on how your students can use Wixie to highlight important social justice issues and build social-emotional skills.
Self Awareness: What will the title of your story be?
Recently my older brother, a former Philosophy professor, asked my 10-year old what kind of general life advice he would give to a middle aged guy like himself. My son responded, “Don’t vape and stay educated.”
After our mutual chuckle and discussion on how it sounded just like a book title, I thought this was a powerful way to get my child to think about his future. What would he want a book about his life to contain? How would others view the story of his life?
Rather than tackle writing an entire book, ask your students to create a book cover design for the story of their life. It's easy for students to get started using the Book Cover Design file in their Templates library.
Simply ask students to add a title and imagery to the front cover and a summary and reviews on the back!
Teamwork: ABC’s of behavior
As a parent to a newly-turned thirteen-year old, the word “behavior” has been popping up at my house more and more these days. As I talk with family, friends, and neighbors, I have also been using the expression, "It takes a village to raise a child" a lot more often too.
Schools and classrooms are already small villages, so tap into your village's expertise and ask students to help other kids understand important behavioral attributes by working together to create an ABC book that defines important SEL vocabulary terms like empathy, compassion, and respect.
Grit and Perseverance: Put your stake in the ground
Many of us try to kick off the New Year with resolutions to help us become the person we want to be. For many of us, and the students in our classrooms, it can be challenging to stick with something for longer than a few weeks. Research shows that if you share your goals with others, the likelihood of them “sticking” greatly increases. Use Wixie to put a virtual "stake in the ground" stating your new year's goal and share it with others.
You will find a "Stake in the Ground" template located in the January Month-by-Month folder in the Wixie Curriculum library. Simply search the library and assign the file to students to get started.
Curiosity: Inquiring minds want to know!
When was the last time you made an assumption about a person or thing? Chances are, if you are anything like me, it was fairly recently. In fact, I made so many false assumptions last year, my stake in the ground for 2019 is to stop making assumptions and instead to ask a lot more questions. After all, questions are the best way to learn about new things, decipher fact from fiction, and determine what’s truly important.
In a culture that seems to value answers more than questions, it is even more paramount that we take the time to ask our students what they are curious about and foster an environment that encourages them to ask more questions. Assign the "I am curious" template in the Wixie curriculum library to encourage students to ask at least seven questions about things they are interested in.
You can also use this organizer as a springboard to help students focus their questioning for a passion project.
Expand your curricular use of Wixie by applying some of these activities to bolster your student's essential social-emotional skills like self-awareness, community, leadership and more.