Today students played an old children’s game- with a bit of a modern twist- to show the importance of ethical communication.
This is a variation of “Hot and Cold.” Have three (tough skinned) students leave the classroom. The remainder of the class decides on an object to “lead” the students to.
The first student enters and can be given only negative comments. The second student can only be given positive comments. Only the third student can be given both positive and negative comments.
Inevitably, students will find that they get the best results with both positive and negative comments. They get the worst results with only negative comments.
Sometimes students think that ethical communication means letting other people have their way, even if they disagree. This activity demonstrates that ethical communication means that people communicate openly and honestly.
To order my students for our conflict topics poster show I assigned each student a playing card. The students are not to look at their card, but to tape it to their forehead. They are to treat others according to their “face value.” A “2” would be ignored or picked on while a “Queen” would be complimented. Obviously it’s a good idea to give higher cards to your students who need some cheering up and lower cards to students with a good sense of humor.
It’s too bad to see how fast students get each other in line!
Then, when students are signing up for topics, I go from lowest card to highest.
I use this journal entry to introduce our unit on Effective Communication. It is a great way for students to brainstorm all of the ways we communicate.
It’s your birthday! During the day, several members with you a happy birthday and let you know that they care about you. You enjoy receiving their messages. One person in your family says, “I love you, have a happy birthday!” Another gives you a hug. You get cards in the mail from distant relatives. Your Facebook wall is filled with good wishes. For dinner your family prepares your favorite foods. Someone else even does your household chores for you! As you begin to open your gifts, you think of all the different kinds of loving messages you have received from family and friends that day.
Identify all of the ways that communication occurred in the events of your day. List some other ways “Happy Birthday” could have been communicated.