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Want to teach your students about life? (PART 2) Try these ideas...

This is a sequel/follow-up to a post from December 14, 2009.

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As I stated in my post from December 14, our freshmen 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: Ordinary people can have a tremendous impact on the world
A. The Do Now Assignment: Watch the following video and write a paragraph about someone you know who isn't famous who makes a difference in people's lives.
B. The Object Lesson: The following video:

C. The Follow Up: Ask students to share their answers. Help them visualize what it would be like if EVERYONE around them at school treated others with love, patience, kindness, etc. What an impact they could each have by really focusing on how they treat others.


The Life Lesson: One person can completely change another person's life
A. The Do Now Assignment: Watch the following video and answer the following questions: If you could choose and had to choose, would you rather be remembered the way this father is remembered or would you rather be remembered for being rich, famous, and powerful? Why?
B. The Object Lesson: The following video:

C. The Follow Up: Ask students to share their answers. Make sure they understand the power of sacrifice. There is great strength in loving and sacrificing. Amazing things can happen when one person sacrifices for another.


The Life Lesson: There is more to life than wealth and fame
A. The Do Now Assignment: Watch the following video and write a short reflection on what you think would be an answer for Tom Brady when he says "There's gotta be more than this.".
B. The Object Lesson: The following video:

C. The Follow Up: Ask students to share their answers. Share with your students examples of people whose lives have been dedicated to service. Help them begin to understand that were designed to care for, love, and serve others. Help them think about other famous and rich people whose lives don't seem all that satisfying. Which would be better to seek - wealth and fame or a life of service?


The Life Lesson: Don't sell yourself short
A. The Do Now Assignment: Watch the following video and answer the following question: How do you think this would have been different if the player had not been blind folded? Why?
B. The Object Lesson: The following video:

C. The Follow Up: Ask students to share their answers. Use this opportunity to make sure your students know how much you believe in their abilities. You could compare yourself to the coach. Let them know that you believe they were created for a purpose and that they have each been blessed with talents. You want to help them find that purpose. Let them know that you care about them more than just as students. You care about their lives.


The Life Lesson: It's better to build someone up than to tear someone down
A. The Do Now Assignment: Watch the following video and write a reflection on why you think this video makes people happy.
B. The Object Lesson: The following video:

C. The Follow Up: Ask students to share their answers. The reason this makes people happy is because it is natural for us to enjoy watching the underdog do well and be happy. Unfortunately, many people tend to find it easier to tear down others or to bring people down to their level instead of helping to build others up. What would it be like in a high school if EVERYONE treated EVERYONE else the way that those students treated Jason?


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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