This month our character education group activities focused on Tolerance. Students in the elementary, middle, and high school did an activity to demonstrate how to be tolerant.
Elementary students watched a video entitled, “Take a seat, make a friend,” in which strangers were given the opportunity to find common ground while sitting in a ball pit. They discussed how they also learned to appreciate the differences among them.
In addition, the students played “Drinking Straws Galore,” in which they had to work as a team to build the tallest structure out of straws and scotch tape. In order to promote tolerance, each member of the team was given a disability: blindness, muteness, the inability to use their thumbs, or the inability to use their dominant hand. Teams had to focus on one another’s strengths, as opposed to their weaknesses, in order to be successful.
Middle school students did a team building activity called “Blind Drawing.” Students were paired up and given a picture to describe to their partner. They had to use vivid descriptions and work together to create the picture accurately. Students with the picture that was close to the original received a reward.
Also, students watched a video that was from the perspective of a girl who looked different and her experience with that struggle. Students had a discussion on accepting people with differences and how we can all try to see things from different perspectives.
High school students watched a video about a feminist artist and how the public made her feel her work was irrelevant. They linked it to politics, personal preference and communication.
Lastly, the students split up into groups and were given different scenarios to discuss what they would do in that situation. The last scenario was to think about if they were dancing or playing a sport and could have one other person on their team. They had two people to choose from: one in a wheelchair and one standing up. They discussed as a group which one they would choose and why. Then, we watched a video on Dancing Wheels Company and School which is a dance company in Cleveland that integrates wheelchair dancers with standup dancers.