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Want to teach your students about life? Try these ideas...

For more great ideas for making classrooms and schools places of inspiration, visit Go Beyond the Content.

Our students are in need of life lessons. They need to learn content, but they also need help learning how to think, how to believe, and how to succeed. While many teachers agree with this, finding a way to work these sort of lessons into a classroom can be difficult. I have found that the Do Now/Bell Ringer/Anticipatory Set time is an excellent time in class to do something different. It's a great opportunity to provide the kids with a life lesson. So here are some examples of these types of Do Now assignments that you could try in your classroom.

The Life Lesson: Failure is necessary if you're going to be successful
A. The Do Now Assignment: Watch the following video and write 1 or 2 sentences describing the main point.
B. The Object Lesson: The following video:

C. The Follow Up: Ask students to share their answers. Make sure they understand that failure - if it happens because you are trying - is a good thing. It prepares you for success later on. Failure for not trying is the problem.



The Life Lesson: Success is the result of hard work
A. The Do Now Assignment: Watch the following video. How can you relate this to your life or someone you know?
B. The Object Lesson: The following video:

C. The Follow Up: Ask students to share their answers. Make sure they understand that they can control the level of success they reach in life. Your life - no matter how much talent you have - ends up being a sum total of the CHOICES you make.


The Life Lesson: Don't lose sight of the future or sell yourself to the here and now
A. The Do Now Assignment: Watch the following video and write a short reflection on what you think Taylor Swift is trying to say in this song.
B. The Object Lesson: The following video:

C. The Follow Up: Ask students to share their answers. If your students have read Romeo and Juliet you might compare it to that. Give them examples of ways that people can trade their future for the present and end up living with regrets.


The Life Lesson: Don't be afraid to fail and never give up
A. The Do Now Assignment: Watch the following video. Which story most surprised you and why?
B. The Object Lesson: The following video:

C. The Follow Up: Ask students to share their answers. Share experiences from your life or lives you know that are similar. Make sure your students hear that they must never give up - which means they keep believing AND they keep working.


The Life Lesson: If something is important enough then you need to believe in it no matter what
A. The Do Now Assignment: Watch the following video. Answer this question - What in your life is worth believing in not matter what?
B. The Object Lesson: The following video:

C. The Follow Up: Ask students to share their answers. Make sure that your students know that one way you would answer the question would be that their success, their value as people, and the fact that you want to help them find their purpose in life (which they each have) are things you believe in no matter what.


The Life Lesson: You are your own person with your own life, and you make your own choices.
A. The Do Now Assignment: Watch the following video. What does it mean to you?
B. The Object Lesson: The following video:
 
C. The Follow Up: Ask students to share their answers. Make sure that your students get the point that they make their own choices - no matter what their parents or anyone else in their life has done.


The Life Lesson: An example of never giving up!
A. The Do Now Assignment: Watch the following video. How do your hardships compare with Nic's?
B. The Object Lesson: The following video:

C. The Follow Up: Ask students to share their answers. Help them see that no matter how bad things seem, there is someone out there making the decision to overcome even worse. There is nothing that can't be overcome.


Lessons like these, embedded into a Do Now assignment, can be a fun way to start off class, a great way to connect with your students, and an opportunity to teach your students about life.

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