As we head back to school, it seems timely to share some important resources for generating classroom discussion on Social Justice and Empathy.
Titles cover topics ranging from discrimination, racism, human rights, diversity, gender identity, poverty, religion, refugees, residential schools, the differently abled.
Not an exhaustive list, these print titles are currently available in the Vanier collection. There are also eBooks available via the library catalogue.
Viola Desmond Won’t Be Budged – Jody Warner
Giant Steps to Change the World – Spike Lee
I have the Right to be a Child – Alain Serres
Across the Alley- Richard Michelson
The Secret of the Dance- Andrea Spalding
Picture Book Resources to support Personal Awareness and Responsibility and Social Responsibility Core Competencies (2)
Many of these titles will work in multiple categories, out-of-print or hard to find titles excluded. All titles currently available the Vanier Collection.
Personal Awareness and Responsibility: Self-Determination
Students who are personally aware and responsible have a sense of personal efficacy and growing confidence in a variety of situations. They value themselves, their ideas, and their accomplishments. They are able to express their needs and seek help when they need it, to find purpose and motivation and act on it, and to advocate for themselves.
Fuchsia Fierce – Christianne Jones
Bounce Back: Resilience – Cheri Meiners
A Tiger Tale – Mike Boldt
As A Boy – Plan International
Hooray For You – Marianne Richmond
Happy In Our Skin – Fran Manushkin
Updated February, 2017.
This document explores how Indigenous resources might support Social Emotional Learning Core Competencies in B.C.’s new curriculum. Focus is on Personal Awareness and Responsibility and Social Responsibility.
Titles were selected as authentic Indigenous sources or are resources selected and shared by the District Aboriginal Department. This is not intended to be an exhaustive list but rather to provide a window into how Indigenous titles may be used to reach school-wide SEL goals.
Indigenous perspectives have also been outlined as well as a final section on further supportive digital resources. See also links to resources for discussing Residential Schools and a full list of our Indigenous resources.
A Buddha Board is calming way to paint and then watch your creation slowly disappear. The white board is mounted onto a black water tray and you use the brush to paint with the water. The brush strokes show up in black. As the water evaporates, the board becomes white again. We have been experimenting with our new Buddha Board in the Learning Commons and figuring out some ways it could be best utilized.
Our first use of the board in the classroom was as a calm down tool for students. The board worked in much the same way as Mind Up tools. Bubblers or glitter jars can be useful in helping students to self regulate and the board offers one more strategy for this calming activity. Students are able to create an image, for example, a representation of their frustration, and watch it slowly disappear as they practice their mindful breathing techniques. The image can take about 5 minutes to evaporate and the process repeated if necessary.
It was also handy for an impatient or anxious student to look at to help understand how long it would be before the next activity or recess. ‘ When the picture is gone’ was more concrete than ‘in 5 minutes’. The board was also helpful for a student who just needed a break from the current activity.
All of the students who tried the board liked the way the brush felt as they painted. They liked the idea that the creation would slowly disappear. Mistakes were not important and it didn’t matter if they felt themselves to be ‘good artists’ or not as there was no permanence to the painting.
We also video taped some Social Emotional Learning words as they disappeared, reversed the film and sped it up so the words seem to appear. As students create their own videos to show their learning we could imagine using this technique for adding titles, credits, thought balloons etc.
I am wondering about using the board as a ‘End of Day’ tool, i.e. ‘Let’s see if we can pick up all of the lego before the image disappears’. Overall, we are looking forward to experimenting with the board. It is great to be able to create with a brush without the problem of getting actual paint all over the library. We have the larger board but smaller ones are available. The larger one was about $35CAD at Chapters and Amazon .The smaller boards are about $16CAD but at just 5″ square, they looked a little too small to be useful.
In her book Sometimes I Feel Like a Fox, author Danielle Daniel explains the importance of totem animals in Anishinaabe culture and how they can act as animal guides for children seeking to understand themselves and others.
This little book is great resource for exploring SEL. We made connections using Coast Salish designs for our follow-up activity and students made the link between the animals, the text and identifying their own varying emotions, strengths and feelings.
After exploring Coast Salish mask art, students used their own creativity to complete the activity. We also took the opportunity to use ‘fancy frames’ to offer students a little recognition. Remaining masks were displayed in the hall.
At Georges Vanier, the Learning Commons is a shared space that is used by staff and students for lots of great activities. We are helping further a sense of ownership by inviting students to bring a plush toy to hang out on the shelves in the LC for a couple of weeks. Please label stuffies with your child’s name and division. No sentimental favourites, just in case…
This week students have been showing their learning about castles and creating their own virtual structures, incorporating the defensive design features of medieval castles. We are using a free app called Castle Builder – Minecraft style – that allows the students to view their creations in 3D.
We have also begun our Pink Shirt Day promotions. Students in Ms. Dhaliwal’s and Mrs. Lutz’s class created graphics that they will be posting on their student blogs to help spread the word about Anti-Bullying. We created images in Chalkboard App and imported them into Comic Book App to add quotes and pizazz.
We also had our first #KindnessCounts nomination for a group of students. Check out our Storify of recent nominations.
Students had great fun learning about onomatopoeia and exploring all of the cleverly designed pictures. Our favourite was the cow but the pig was a close second.
Students in several classes enjoyed sharing this great story and it really sparked their imaginations. They couldn’t wait to get started designing their own animal creations. We used Doodle Buddy App to come up with the shape for the animal and imported that image into PicCollage. We chose this app as there are a wide variety of fonts to choose from. Students explored with other ideas as they worked: adding the names of the animals into their images. We could also have extended the activity as a way to show learning about animal habitats or behaviours.
I shared some of the creations on twitter and as it was such a great project that I would definitely do again. The students were so excited when they saw that Mr. Arndt had replied to our tweet and said he thought their work was ‘Cool’.
The contact with the author of the book was an extremely meaningful learning opportunity for the students. The students were deeply engaged in the project, highly motivated to create and keen to figure out how they could show their ideas. They were showing the author what they could do, and they wanted it to be their very best. I am indebted to Michael for his support of our Vanier authors and illustrators.
We also created a fantastic cooperative learning, problem solving, research background, think outside the box, respect each other’s work, get creative castle. Check out our process:
And of course #KindnessCounts at Vanier. Check out our nominated Acts of Kindness