January is International Creativity Month, so that will be the focus of this month’s conversation starters.
As I mentioned, teasing answers out of students for whom self-reflection is a new skill will require patience and practice. To begin, let’s start with something safe and a little bit silly.
“What new law should the President write?”
By shifting the responsibility to someone outside themselves, children will feel safer expressing their thoughts because, well, they aren’t doing it – the president is!
Objective: Get the student to think about what feels unjust/unfair to them or what is an area in society that should be improved.
If you are facing an army of blank stares try these:
Some helpful prompts:
- Has anything ever happened to you or a loved one that was so awful it should be illegal?
- When’s the last time you became really angry? If something were different, would you have been less angry? Could there be a law written to stop that from happening?
- Do you wish you had easier access to things?
- Is there something everyone should be able to get or have?
- Think about what makes you happy? Should it be mandatory?
For littler ones, consider changing the prompt to: “What’s a new rule we should have in our classroom?” In their micro-world the teacher may be more powerful than the president!
Tip: To keep the ideas flowing, ask students to write down their answers. Collect them. Hand them back later in the week and have students defend their answer by writing 3 sentences about why they picked this law.
Let me know what they come up with!