Age 5-13

Drama and Dance

Use drama and dance to build community, foster active learning, and support youth growth. Use both to aid classroom management, address multiple intelligences, and to develop abstract, creative and critical thinking skills. Assign various roles to youth in the “Theater Company” including: Playwright, Director, Choreographer, Actors and Actresses. Use dramatic play with young children to …

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Encourage and Encourage Some More

Find as many opportunities to acknowledge how hard our youth are working. It takes five words of encouragement for every one word of criticism for our youth to internalize the encouragement. “Thank you for helping,” “You’ve worked so hard,” “I appreciate that you helped your friend,” “Thanks for cleaning up” are examples. Recognition of efforts …

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Engaging Nature

Getting people outside can do wonders for building capacities for problem solving. Through engaging nature, youth become calm, learn to listen carefully, develop their empathic response, become more respectful and more careful about their own actions, and take on leadership positions to protect nature. They feel peace and learn about the practical steps of civic …

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Ethnomathematics

Defined by Brazilian mathematician Ubiratan D’Ambrosio as intersections of culture, historical traditions, socio-cultural roots, and mathematics.  It seeks to answer the question of students in math classes everywhere: What’s the relevance? Often the answers are experienced on location during field trips, by applying math to the world around us, and making it meaningful.  It is …

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Family Cultural Sharing

Identify cultural treasures from the families in your classroom. Have families come in and share their cultural traditions. Highlight ways of celebrating community through dance, art, music, and food. Crosswalk the experiences to highlight the sharing of humanity’s various cultures. Additionally, youth can find hybrid cultural forms of expression and food that show cultural collision, …

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Family Meetings

Plan meetings as a whole family (try for weekly) where members discuss the upcoming week. Identify where family members might need some help. Family Meetings are a safe space to talk about challenges each family member may be facing. Rotate who facilitates each week, using talking sticks or balls as a way of sharing equally. …

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Family Narrative

Research shows that youth who have knowledge of their family history, events, challenges, and successes have more self-control, higher self-esteem, and handle difficulties better. This is due to youth feeling a strong sense of belonging and being part of something bigger than they are. Contributing to a family narrative involves telling family stories, following traditions, …

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