Monday, January 4, 2016

Brag Bag & Best Part of Me Lesson

Happy New Year!  During this time of the year, many of us follow tradition and make resolutions and goals that we'd like to do for the new year.  Often times the resolutions we make are to improve or enhance something in our lives.  We often forget that we have many things already in us that we can brag about and don't need to change.

I was able to do an awesome lesson on body image and acceptance with 2 super cool activities with my 5th grade classes, partnering up with the 5th grade teachers in planning and preparing this made this even more special.  Let me give a little background info...prior to this lesson I went on a field trip with 5th grade for their human growth and development unit to a health center.  Also prior to this trip I had heard several cases of negative self-talk among peers.

For my lesson, the classroom teacher opened with "give your neighbor a compliment" as we listened, nearly all the compliments were based on items such as "I like your shoes", "I like your bracelet" and so on.  That was our doorway to talk about things that we have within us that can't be purchased at a store.  I then read a short story from Chicken Soup for the Soul, Think Positive for Kids entitled "Learning to Love my Nose".  In this story the author shares how something she was embarrassed about became something she was proud about.  It was great to hear the discussion from the class on how they connected with the story.

Next I used the Brag Bag activity from the Girls in Real Life Situations book.  Students were to write 10 things that they could brag about themselves that were not materialistic.  After you wrote the brags down, you cut them out and out them in a plastic bag.  The teachers and I shared our brags with the classes and shared that it can be difficult to brag about yourself.  It was so interesting seeing the students write their brags down.  If we had time, students had the option to share (many were very willing to share).
GIRLS book (notice all my sticky notes, I love this book)

My Brags, that I shared with the students
Student works on their Brags
Cutting the Brags out and putting them in a bag
The following week students wrote a poem after reading the book The Best Part of Me by Wendy Ewald, where they wrote about the best part of them.  This activity was lead by their teacher, however the brag bag gave them many ideas on things that just might be the best part of them.

Best Part of Me...Eyes
Best Part of Me...Hair
I loved seeing how thoughtful and creative students were doing both of these activities.  I really loved the collaboration with the amazing 5th grade teachers.  We have already said that we would do more things like this in the future. Pin It