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  • Sarah Hudson

“My mom says I have breath like a dragon.”

Updated: Sep 16, 2019

Trust, Kindness and Recognizing Virtues




An activity I have the students do weekly, is sit in a circle and give each other a compliment. We discuss the differences between general “surface” compliments (a skill or attire choice) and “deep” compliments (recognition of an action or how they make someone feel.) As the teacher, I model the type of compliments expected. Then I invite a compliment for the same student by their peers. When giving compliments they use the person’s name and compliment them. The person receiving the compliment replies by looking that person in the eyes and says, “Thank you, (name.)”


Here’s why I think this exercise is valuable:

1. Students are mindful of other’s actions.

2. Students hear their name and hear something positive associated with them.

3. Compliments from peers are powerful.

4. Students practice receiving compliments and responding sincerely. (Not an easy thing to do!)

5. This practice establishes trust and kindness within the classroom.

You would be amazed at the joy students feel when they are being complimented.


Virtues



Another September focus is, virtues. It ties with our school code of conduct, classroom code of conduct and playground behaviour. I begin by asking students what their virtues are. One time, the first student to give an example, didn’t disappoint. “My mom says I have breath like a dragon.”



The story, Dawn Flight: A Lakota Story, written by Kevin Locke, is a great tale to teach the importance of virtues.


There are many learning opportunities. Students can: connect to the story, identify meaning, apply the meaning to daily life, practice comparing flood stories with Venn diagrams, create a class book about being virtuous, and recognize virtues within their peers.

For ideas and templates to support Dawn Flight, check it out my unit on TpT.