3 Questions That Need Answering

Screen Shot 2014-10-04 at 22.05.59

These three questions are from the latest Kid President video.  His video is a call to action, specifically for support of #socktober, but also just a general call for people everywhere to ask themselves:

1. What am I not ok with? 

2. What do I have? 

3. What can I do about it? 

With action being such an important part of the PYP, I couldn’t help but think how useful these questions are to help kids focus their thinking and ideas in order to take action.

Need an example?  Take the dolphins.

1. I am not ok with the slaughter of dolphins or the trapping and raising of dolphins and marine animals in captivity for the purpose of human entertainment.

2. What do I have?  Well, if I were Michael Beerens I would say that I have artistic talent and the ability and passion to create videos of my art. If I were Mirim Seo I would say that I also have the ability to tell a story through my art. Both artists also have the incredible power of the internet, a global platform from which to share their work.

3. What can I do about it?  I can make a video.  I can illustrate a book to get my point across.  And then I can share my work online:

TILIKUM from MICHAEL BEERENS on Vimeo.

Click here for her full story.

How could you use these questions to help your students in their quest to take action?

For additional resources on inspiring action in your students, check out Inspire My Kids – one of my favorite places on the web with inspirational stories about kids taking action. It has a wealth of resources and is the site you need to check out if you want to feel inspired by the young people of our planet.

Dear Future…

I am pretty much always looking to connect what I curate to my students in my classroom. I think it opens a window to the bigger picture, brings in different perspectives, and makes us feel – happy, sad, mad, excited, inspired.  I want to spark the possibility that they CAN.  Do more, be more, say more, lead more.

After watching Kid President today I heard a few tentative, “Could we make our ideas into a video?” from a couple of voices.  YES, YES, YES!  I don’t know if they will or not – I will certainly support them – but I love that they are making that connection.

After Skyping with my friend, Erica Lloyd, a humanitarian from the US, living in Haiti and working for SOIL, I noticed one of the kids had drawn a circular diagram in his book that read: THINK – LEARN – DO. He listened to Erica explain that she thought a lot about what she wanted to do, then how she researched, visited, talked with, observed, listened, and asked questions to educate herself, and then put her ideas, knowledge, heart, and soul into action to go out and do something to make a difference.  I loved that she was able to explain this to my kids and that they picked up on it.  Inspired!

I see in my daughter this same kind of thinking.  She is a sponge.  It is staggering the things she can do and how quickly she thinks, learns, does. We offer our support, she eats it up. I think about her when I am offering options to my kids. I want them to be introduced to as much as possible and for them to think, learn, and do at their pace (or maybe with a gentle push?!).

I watched a really beautiful video in celebration of World Down Syndrome Day.  Titled, “Dear Future Mom…” it is an inspired piece of work that challenges stereotypes and celebrates life. I keep watching it because it just seems so hopeful, so strong….and then the moms come into shot to hug their kids and the love is palpable. It is….just watch it, you’ll see for yourself:

We celebrate lots of different days at school so World Down Syndrome day will be shared in my class tomorrow, along with this video. I am curious to see their reaction. As well as thinking about why this video was created, I also want them to think about the idea behind the video: sending a message into the future.

Screen Shot 2014-03-20 at 11.16.25 PM

In his brilliant work, Ship It, a guide to Linchpin, Seth Godin calls you to pause before beginning your big project and asks you to evaluate the outcome now.  To write your feelings down about how you did, how you felt when your work was done, what made you successful, how you feel about yourself, and any other messages of congratulations or support to your future self. It is the epitome of Starting with the end in mind. I love it.  (SIDE NOTE: I often start the PYP Exhibition by using the majority of  pages from SHIP IT to get kids thinking and discussing – it is awesome, try it!).

The past two years, I have done this when starting the PYP Exhibition.  We write letters, we seal them, we put them in a safe place.  We open them after all is said and done and we laugh, share, giggle, hug, and celebrate our victory all over again. That’s on tomorrow’s agenda and I can’t wait.

What does your “Dear Future…” look like?