“The difference between school and life is that in school you learn the lessons and then get a test, but in life you get a test and then learn the lessons.”
This year I have decided to dedicate a substantial amount of time and effort to learning about and teaching life lessons that can be integrated into my program. Having spent the last few weeks really getting to know my students, I feel that they are a group of kids that can benefit from deep and meaningful lessons because they are both ready to explore them and in need of that support in their life. I looked into integrating each lesson into our Literacy, Social Justice, Financial Literacy, and Healthy Living aspects of the curriculum. So far, the students have really enjoyed their experience so I thought I’d share what we’ve done.
At the start of each week, I post a quote (linked to a life lesson I believe they need to explore) with questions to guide the students’ thinking. They glue the prompt into their Journals and then have a week to complete the Journal entry. The entries have written components and can also be expressed in artwork and various media (cartoons, posters, etc.). The prompt is also posted on our website so students can share it with their families and hopefully discuss it together.
The responses I have received have been such a pleasure to read and I find that the students are working to try and incorporate the lesson into their way of thinking and acting. They understand life so much more than we sometimes give them credit for! At the end of the week, we share our thoughts, how we will use the lesson in our lives, and how some of us have already tried. This week, the first thing out of their mouths as they walked in on Monday was, “Mrs. Oliveira, what’s the life lesson quote this week?”
If you’d like to take a look at some examples, you can find them in our classroom website. Click “More” and scroll down to “Lifeclass”- it’s a simple idea that has my students learning about life in a way they’re ready to explore.