The Wrinkled Heart - Teaching Respect and Kindness
This lesson was posted on Teachers.net.
Posted Wed Aug 18 14:23:25 PDT 1999 by Kelly Mueller (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Jackson Park Elementary School, University City, MO USA
Materials Required: one piece construction paper/scissors
Activity Time: any
Concepts Taught: Treating others with respect or kindness
I heard this at a "Love and Logic" workshop several years
ago. It serves as a great reminder all year long.
With the class seated on the floor, start talking about the
difference in the things we say that make people feel good
or that hurt them. While talking, cut a big heart out of the
construction paper (whatever color!!). After it is cut out,
hold it up and tell the children that each one of us starts
out with a heart that is as pretty as this one. Have the
children begin sharing things that a person might say that
might be hurtful to someone. With each response, fold the
heart (in random ways - just so it gets another fold in it
for each "hurtful" sentence). Eventually the heart is
crumpled in your hands. Tell the class that each time they
say something hurtful to someone, they are putting a little
wrinkle in that person's heart. Talk about how someone's
heart might begin to look like this crumpled heart if people
continue to say mean things to them.
Then have the children begin to tell things that they might
say to someone to make that person feel good. With each
response, UNfold one of the creases in the heart. Eventually
you will have pressed out all of the "hurts"...except, of
course, for the fact that the wrinkles can still be seen,
even though the heart is now all the way unfolded. Talk
about how we each have those wrinkles in our hearts from
things that people have said to us, and that the wrinkles
last forever. Stress that we want to be careful with what we
say so as to not add wrinkles to anyone's heart.
We put that heart up in a high corner of the bulletin board
and leave it in plain view all year. Frequently someone will
mention it...that their heart is wrinkled like that one,
etc. It serves as a great reminder all year long.