Students work together as a class to combine small-group visions into a larger vision of balance for the class.
Students will be able to:
- Create a personal definition of balance
- Define balance in terms of self, others, and environment
- Create a class definition and vision of balance
Pen/paper, large post-its or poster paper, markers, and space for groups to brainstorm, materials to create a class vision of balance (mural paper, paint, etc)
As an opening to class, give each student silent and independent time to answer the question:
|Little or no prompting is necessary before this activity so that students can bring their own ideas to the conversation without feeling like there is a “right” answer. Encourage students to respond authentically.|
Explain to the class that, rather than telling them what balance looks like in your class, you would like them to create their own class-wide definition.
They are going to work together in small groups to create a “balance vision” for the classroom establishing what being balanced and helping others to feel balanced means to them.
Each student already has his or her own definition, which they will use to work with a small group and create a list of things that they would like to see used in the whole-class vision of balance.
Once the class has created small group definitions, you will take time to examine each group’s definition, take the best ideas from each group, and put them together in one final vision of balance for the classroom.
This will be put up in the room and can be used to remind the class and others what balance looks like in this class.
Small Group Brainstorm
Give students time in a small group to discuss their individual definitions of balance and brainstorm a list of things they can do to feel balanced and to help others feel balanced. Consider the following prompts:
These brainstorms can be on large paper and posted on the wall in the room for logistics in the next lesson activity.
|Things to consider in guiding student brainstorm:
To the extent that the you feel it’s appropriate:
|7 mins||Every student should have a writing utensil for this phase of the lesson.
||You can establish a code for writing on other groups’ posters for ease: a star means “strongly agree”, a question mark means “I don’t understand”, etc.
Group Consensus and Drafting
Lead the group in examining the notes written on the posters and identifying trends in the ideas and the most popular ideas.
When guiding the group to a consensus, aim to hear all student voices, avoid personal biases or their own definition of balance, and honor the students’ vision of balance.
|Depending on the developmental and skill level of your students, you may want to step out of this phase of the lesson and allow the group to come to a consensus on the ideas in the balance vision without you.|
The group should establish a means to create a final draft of the balance vision, whether that is selecting a student to write it out, having you create the large poster, or some other means of writing it.
See the questions under “Criteria for Success/Formative Assessment” below.
Have students answer these questions in a format that works for your class, whether that is on paper, in smalls groups, as a whole-class discussion, etc.
Post the final vision of balance visibly in the room and remind students that it will remain up so that they can hold themselves, each other, and you accountable for the ideas that they have created.
Connections to Other Emotions
Creating a balanced environment may also foster the emotions of happy/joyful, allowing students to feel content or happy with their classroom interactions and experiences.
Criteria for Success/Formative Assessment
- What will our class be like if everyone follows the vision of balance?
- Do you think your original definition of balance is captured in the class vision? Why or why not?
- What is one specific way (please give a concrete example) that you can help our class live up to its vision of balance?