You've read the Facebook posts and seen the Instagram pictures, but what was it really like to hang out with some of the most fabulous ladies in the Grand Forks area? Check it out!
We start with a short introduction. We talk about what bullying is, the kids experiences with bullying and what we can do to combat it. Then we get right to work! I explain that they all get to be actors for a day, and that we need to first warm up our bodies. We get the energy going with a dance party, stretching and fun vocal warm ups! As one final warm up to prepare ourselves to act, we do some improvisation with games like "Act Like A ___" and story telling games to get the imagination juices flowing!
We then begin our discussion on COURAGE! We read the book "One" By Kathryn Otoshi and use that as our script. The kids then break off into groups and act out the story with each person taking a turn acting as the main characters and then we all perform for one another! This kind of exercise helps kids discover how it feels to be courageous in a situation where it may be difficult to do so. This also gives the kids a time to perform and receive positive peer feedback, helping to form positive bonds! Afterwards I play a song with the theme of courage and let everyone "dance it out"!
Next we discuss EMPATHY. We talk about what it means to be empathetic and how to be empathetic by reading a poem. After everyone has a grasp on the concept of being empathetic, the kids are paired up and are instructed to write down a short paragraph about a time that they were sad, scared, nervous, or excited. They then swap stories with each other and read them to their partner. Or in the case where the kids are a bit younger, we gather together and write down a sentence about a time we felt sad, scared, excite etc. on a strip of paper and then randomly swap and go in a circle and read them together. Afterwards we gather together again as a group to talk about what it was like to step into the other girls shoes, and how it made us feel about her and ourselves. Most importantly we discuss how this can help end bullying.
Finally, we discuss what it means to be KIND. This begins with turning off the lights and having the kids close their eyes. When they open them, I am holding what looks like a glowing heart in front of me (Black foam paper with a yellow heart in the middle that lights up when I hold a flashlight behind it!). "This is what happens to your heart when you are kind to someone, or someone is kind to you" I say. I explain that there are juices and chemicals in your brain and body that are released when you show or receive kindness and those chemicals make your body feel oh so good! We then partner up and say kind things to one another, noticing their reactions and how it makes us feel as well. "Everyone has a little love light inside of them that lights up whenever you are kind to them, never forget that little love light." I say as I pass out little yellow felt hearts on yarn as a gift and reminder to be kind. We wrap this up with a craft! Notebooks labeled with each child's name is passed around one person at a time and filled with kind words about that individual. Miss Grand Forks even writes in them!
It is at this time that I start to pack up and say goodbye. But of course we have one last dance party!
And finally, before I go there are plenty of pictures….
And most importantly, lots and lots of hugs!!!