[CLICK for .jpg PAGE 1]
[CLICK for .jpg PAGE 2]




People can experience how others think, feel and value.
There is much commonality and difference in how people fee.
People want others to understand them.
Relationships are important.


Students will risk by sharing about themselves and other with the group.


Sponge ball.


Teacher discretion.


These activities foster a sense of cohesiveness in the class. Students practice valuing things about other members of the group, and also being affirmed in their own uniqueness.


1. Sponge Ball Throw

Ask the children to sit in a circle. Throw a sponge ball to one child to catch a signal for him/her to sit in the "spotlight chair." Then the other children are asked to spontaneously suggest things the child in the chair does well. Limit the sharing to two or three things so the session moves rapidly and can include all children. Consider writing the comments as "A good things List" and posting in the classroom "Tour" the list every so often by reviewing everyone's positive traits.

This might be most easily facilitated in a small group working with the teacher.


2. Peak Experiences

In this strategy, interview each child individually and ask him to remember a time when he was really happy, a time when he felt good and was having a lot of fun an really enjoying life. Jot down each detail as the child dictates his experience, then quickly sequence the details into a short paragraph that is read to the child for his additional comments. Then ask the child to keep his story secret because, with his permission, it will be read to the group later and the children will be asked to guess who told the story. (An interesting variation is to tape record the interviews for playback later.)

When the group meets, the teacher reads each story and asks the class to guess who told it. Then the question is asked, "From the story, can you tell what each person values?" Example: "I remember a time when I was about five or six years old and we went to visit my grandmother in the summertime. She lived out on a desert. They caught me a horse and I rode him all by myself. It was my first time ever to be in the desert and I saw squirrels and lots of birds. It was also the first time I ever rode on a horse and that's what made me feel happy."

This child values: grandmother (older people); deserts, summertime, squirrels, birds (nature; riding by herself (independency, adventure).

The teacher can point out the important things in the story to the group and perhaps summarize the things each child values.