What great leaders are you studying with your students right now? Present the main accomplishments of these historical figures, but also invite your children to think about how these men and women started off as ordinary people who took a stand. They spoke up. We could say they had superpowers: empathy, kindness, helping others, listening. These characteristics led them to action.
In the Modeled Moment, Super Kindness, this family shows how we can pair our greatest attributes with action. Are your children good listeners? Good friends? Peacemakers? We can develop their ability to see those strengths as superpowers capable of changing the world.
Teachers, each of you have superpowers as well! For many children, your smile, your kind words, your listening ear is the only positive in their day. Your influence can linger for years, even a lifetime, for the kids in your class.
During the month take time to read some of the following books from Edutopia about children taking action and helping out.
- The Smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade by Justin Roberts. Sally has keen observation skills that enable her to see a lot of mean behavior and bullying—and one day she decides to take a stand. (For ages 3–6)
- I walk With Vanessa by Kerascoët. A powerful wordless picture book that tells the story of one girl who inspires a community to stand up to bullying. (4-8)
- Maddi’s Fridge by Lois Brandt. Sofia enlists her mother in seeking to help her friend Maddi, who doesn’t have much food in her refrigerator because her family is poor. (For ages 4–8)
- Separate Is Never Equal by Duncan Tonatiuh. Sylvia is excited about her first day at her neighborhood school, but she and her siblings are prevented from attending because they’re Mexican. Her family organizes a lawsuit that brings about an end to segregated schooling in California. (For ages 6–10)
Consider how your students might continue this conversation with their families. Show the video Family Poem. For home learning this week, ask your students to write a poem with their families describing their superpowers and what is important to them.