Gariann Wrenchly, grades 7-8, Landstuhl EMS, Kaiserslautern Germany, Elana Meyers Taylor, 2015-16
We watched Apollo 13. Through the microscopes of both leadership and courage, we discussed the plight of the astronauts and their support team on Earth. This was a fantastic “jumping off” point to start talking about courage and what that meant personally.
We jigsawed the article “Six Attributes of Courage” using laminated, paper, jigsaw pieces. Each group was responsible for reading a section and then sharing out the main idea as well as a visual representation. When they finished their group work, students individually completed a courage-building exercise where they reflected on the definition of courage and several situations in their lives-both recently and in the past- where they felt fear and how they faced it. They were asked to break down the skills they used to get through their struggles
Wow, wow, wow! We watched a 12 minute TED Talk called “Teach Girls Bavery, Not Perfection.” https://www.ted.com/talks/reshma_saujani_teach_girls_bravery_not_perfection?language=en It should be added to the Classroom Champions list of “amazing resources” for MS teachers to teach bravery. Reshma Saujani talked about how she ran for NY congress despite overwhelming odds, and just as the polls predicted, lost. She now works in IT and shared her powerful insights. After it was over, one of the young ladies in class said, “That was the best TED talk I have ever watched.” Afterwards, we circled up and had a Socratic Seminar on the topic of bravery. Students brought in ideas from Reshma Saujani, ideas from the article they jigsawed earlier this month, and personal ideas and experiences. Elana’s challenge this month asked us to define courage and think of examples where it can be displayed as well as obstacles we have faced that required courage. The Socratic Seminar brought full-circle her initial question that we discussed at the beginning of March.