The trick in teaching is give students just enough information to do an activity.
- Where they have to apply knowledge to a situation they / friend / or stranger will likely experience.
Their job is to figure out —
a) What is the wise thing to do?
b) What did I learn from this………………?
In other words, the student internalizes the experience / problem / situation and because they are not emotionally involved they come up with an answer as good as any expert. I’m always amazed yet not surprised. Remove the emotional involvement, wisdom born from common sense emerges.
In the Category of: What did I learn from this? (What motivates decision making in the direction of my hopes and dreams.)
One example of this is found on my blog www.thehealthymindcurriculum.com: Let’s Make a Movie — the Story Persuades. http://thehealthymindcurriculum.com/lets-make-movie-story-persuades/
The culminating activity of my Sex Ed unit was a student created and produced movie using Apple’s Garage Band or Microsoft’s Movie Maker. Students had a choice of 7 Nightmare stories with 6 to 7 scenes. I titled the stories Nightmares for a reason; not only were they kids’ nightmares, but they are every parent’s nightmare as well (thus parents were happily involved in this project). The stories revolve around sexual choices, consequences and what the students learn when they wake from their nightmare.
- Who really cares for them
- When you hurt yourself you also hurt the people around you, particularly the people who love you the most.
You could use the same concept revolving around how a person’s life changes when they conform to their peers’ example and get involved in using a drug / alcohol. The point of this activity is:
- For the student and parent to focus on future hopes and dreams
- To activate the imagination of the parent and student to create a personal story which reflects a life experience that resulted, as a consequence of a poor moral choice / choices or rebellious choice against parental authority.
- When the movie is complete and you are helping the student save their movie, ask the student, “What did you learn?” You will get various forms of, I want this. . ….. (a future goal), so I’m not going to do ……..(the nightmare) —WISDOM. Many also talk about the conversations they had with their parents.
Another example found on my blog is Genogram (Family Tree) http://thehealthymindcurriculum.com/a-family-tree-genogram-project/
This was the best project I ever did because it opened my students’ eyes. Many had a greater appreciation for what their parents were trying to do with, and for them, others saw health patterns that could impact their future health. Information from the family tree was internalized and personal decisions were made to change an attitude or a habit for the benefit of their future. This project wasn’t just stuff for a grade and then to be forgotten.
In the Category of: What is the Wise Thing to Do?
An example found on my blog: The Four Voices within That Help / Harm our Decision Making Process http://thehealthymindcurriculum.com/the-four-voices-within-that-helpharm-our-decision-making-process-2/
After the students:
- identity which of the four decision making profiles they are
- complete an activity where each decision making profile is identified within a story and used as an excuse for poor behavior leading to a predictable disaster
“The students formulate their perfect question that will be a filter to evaluate every opportunity, every date, every invitation, and everything they are asked to be a part of. This question is to be a higher standard than:
- Is this the right thing to do?
- Is this the ethical thing to do?
- Is this the legal thing to do?”
It is to be a question that will enable them to see through their wants, desires and the excuses they use to convince themselves, that what they want to do will work out just fine. I know what I’m doing. Nothing is going to happen etc.”*
Successful teaching is when our students have that ah ha moment. The scales fall from their eyes and there is that wide eyed look of “I never thought of this like that before.”
Reference: * Andy Stanley