Coed, independent, PK3-12th grade school in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Empathy Lesson in Middle School
by Christine Idinge, Seventh Grade Math Teacher
Ask any adult what they remember from their time as a middle school student and they will inevitably mention how tough it was. The three to four years are often the most challenging given the students' age, mental and physical development, and the ever changing social scene. In order to begin the year on a good note and set the stage for the grade level interdisciplinary design thinking unit, the seventh grade teaching team spent their first official Community Time with the students engaged in a hands-on activity designed to promote empathy.
Each advisory was separated into two groups with a single student from each group selected to conduct the experiment. The student was given one minute to empty the contents of a tube of toothpaste into the lid of a box. Then the real fun began! The same student was then given three minutes to put all of the toothpaste back into the tube. Shorecrest students are some of the most clever and the teachers definitely witnessed many approaches to repairing the damaged tube.
The students had many theories about what this experiment symbolized, but it took one brave girl to raise her hand and say, "Once words have been spoken, they cannot be undone." It was exactly what the teachers had hoped for - a fun, interactive way for the students to understand that words matter!