On my old blog (sorry blog, I still love you and promise I will visit soon!) I posted about this great website called Inspire My Kids. Inspire My Kids is a website where you can find real life stories to inspire the kids in your life. The site is organized under four headings:
– such as goodness, perserverance, responsibility and sportsmanship
– such as leadership, charity, environment, sports and music
– 5+, 8+, 12+, 18+ and All
– article, podcast, reference or video
According to the website itself, here are ten reasons teachers should be using Inspire My Kids in their classrooms:
1) It’s good for the world and your kids.
2) The site makes it fun for kids to see the pillars and traits of character education in action.
3) Get ideas and inspiration for Service learning projects.
4) Students love it. Really.
5) It’s free and you can use it today.
6) You and your class can help us shape the site.
7) inspiremykids is being used successfully in classes today.
The content might even inspire you! You will likely be amazed (and probably brought to tears) by the amazing stories we feature here.
9) Did we say that students love it?
10) You likely started your career to help inspire children and make the world a better place. We’re here to help you do this.
This website is perfect for everyone but especially those doing the PYP Exhibition. We want kids to take meaningful action? What better way to get them motivated to do so than by searching through some of the content on this website? What I really like is that not only can you get inspired, you can offer inspiration to others and share your kids stories in order for them to continue to share the love with other kids.
Inspire My Kids turned 1 in November last year. In recognition of this, they published the 11 posts they felt had made the most impact. What I also like (I will say this a lot – there is nothing to ‘dislike’ about this site!) is that at the end of each post, they don’t just leave the reader hanging. They offer some follow-up prompts to encourage further thought and discussion on the ‘inspiration’ piece. Here are the top eleven followed by the three question sets you will find at the end of each post: Topics for discussion, Take Action, and Teacher Features.
11. Eric Thomas – The “Hip Hop Preacher”
10. High School Track Star Crawls Her Way to the Finish Line
9. Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things
8. Wesley Autrey – The “Subway Superman”
7. The Panyee Football Club – A Near-Impossible Dream Realized
6. A Brilliant Idea – A Special Soccer Ball That Provides Energy to Developing Countries
5. Rory (Craig) Koonce – Making the Impossible Possible!
4. The Ultimate Act of Sportsmanship
3. Nadin Khoury – From Bullying Victim to Brave Spokesperson
2. The Incredible Story Behind the Star-Spangled Banner
1. Friends at First Sight – Suryia the Orangutan and Roscoe the Dog
Topics for Discussion:
- Which Inspire My Kids post is your favorite? Why?
- Which Inspire My Kids posts have inspired you to make changes in your life?
- As you read through the top ten posts, look at the Take Action sections and see which ones you can participate in today!
- Set a goal to take positive action in your life, just as the people (and animals) in these posts have done. Who knows? Maybe you’ll be the subject of one of our future posts!
- Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for elementary school students.
- Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for middle school students.
I am looking forward to seeing how this website will help inspire my kids as they start to think about taking authentic action as part of the Exhibition – and their lives. I am looking forward to seeing how they do at putting themselves ‘out there’ and sharing their thoughts and actions with others.
SIDE NOTE: With the idea of ‘putting themselves out there’ fresh in my mind, I just read an article written by someone who does ‘put themselves out there’ and in doing so, subjects herself to the possibility of criticism. I think this is a really interesting point worth talking about and in many ways, links back to creating a positive digital footprint. I was surprised when I googled my name that high up on the list was a link to a comment I had posted on a friend’s website. I was writing ‘to him’ but clearly I was also writing to the whole world. To me, this reinforces the comment made by Marina that digital citizenship is really just ‘citizenship’. What makes you a ‘good person’ in real life also applies to your digital life. If you disagree with someone’s ideas in real life you don’t go up to them and call them ‘ugly’ or ‘stupid’ but it is ok to respectfully share your different opinion. When it stoops to name calling – inappropriate. Take a leaf out of the Inspire My Kids book and use your words for good.