I've used this activity several times since I first discovered it on Education World site, where Gary Hopkins generously shared it. It is a lesson to teach
- how unkind words can hurt ;
- words for an apology.
Before the lesson you need to cut out a silhouette of a person, using construction paper, avoiding any gender or race specific characteristics.
At the beginning of the lesson I introduce Greenie as a new classmate. Students laugh and notice how different Greenie is and admit they would tease and pick on somebody like Greenie. I invite them to speak openly.When they say something mean, I rip a part of Greenie's body and give it to a student. They wonder what to do with it, but it doesn't stop others thinking of even meaner words to say.
After everyone has had a chance, we talk about what we have done. Students see the tape on my desk and want to tape Greenie back together. We first agree that our words hurt Greenie and we must apologize. Every student thinks of appropriate words to say while reattaching the pieces.
No matter how hard we try, Greenie is not the same. I lead students to the understanding that scars never go away when we hurt someone's feelings.
Students write about what we have learned. I always leave Greenie on the classroom wall for a few days.
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