This 3rd grade lesson has been adapted from this wonderful, life-saving source right here:
Topics Covered: Responsibility, Fairness, Communication Skills, Interpersonal Effectiveness
- Pass out a white piece of paper to each student. For this activity, I did not make it mandatory for them to put their name on the paper.
- Ask them to draw you a bug. I drew one on the board to demonstrate what I meant. The only rules were, it had to have a head and 4 more segments.
- When the boys completed their bugs, we talked about things our friends do that “bug” us. We began to brainstorm things other people do that bother us. We made a large list on the board.
- I asked them to find the top 4 things that bother them or “bug” them most and place these on their friendship bug. I asked them to place a star next to the thing that upsets them the most.
- Once the bugs were completed, I allowed them to share some of the things that bother them most. The conversations that came up helped them see that they shared a lot of the same “bugs,” as well as some, “WHAT? That really does bug you? I thought you were just joking.”
- Then, I had them flip their paper over and draw me a second bug. Same rules applied.
- This time, after hearing other classmates’ bugs, they had to determine what they do that might bother other classmates. They listed these 4 things and placed a star by the one thing they were willing to change.
- We came together again and shared the one thing we realized we do that bothers other people. As the boys were reading their “bugs,” I could see a lot of the boys nodding and lot of them say, “Oh good, it’s about time,” etc.
The boys struggled a little bit finding their own “bugs.” They kept saying,”But, I like everything about myself. ” I had to give them a lot of examples, especially a better clarification that “bugs” aren’t things we don’t like about ourselves, they are just things we know might bother others that we would like to change. I provided MANY examples.
One that I’m sure Spence can nod his head to was my interrupting problem. I told the boys that I am terrible about interrupting people. I told them that it didn’t mean I disliked myself or that others disliked me. It was only a bad habit that I was willing to change.
I think it’s easy for children to name things they dislike about others, or name behaviors that are inappropriate, etc, but reflecting inward is a skill they need to be taught. It’s not easy, but who said everything we teach children should be? Personal development is not any different.